Plans for new nuclear reactors in S.C. challenged


March 04, 2008

For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
Tom Clements, 803-834-3084
Nick Berning, 202-222-0748

Environmental Group Opposes Duke Energy’s Plans for Risky New Nuclear Reactors in South Carolina

COLUMBIA—Friends of the Earth filed a petition yesterday with the South Carolina Public Service Commission urging it to reject a request Duke Energy for approval of “preconstruction costs” associated with planning two new nuclear reactors in Cherokee County.

The petition was filed on behalf of South Carolina Friends of the Earth members who are at risk of incurring higher energy costs from the reactors’ construction and who are also concerned about potential environmental harm. The “petition to intervene” requests that Friends of the Earth be allowed to become a party of record in Duke Energy’s application process, noting that “Friends of the Earth advocates the pursuit of less risky and less costly alternatives including conservation and efficiency over the unjustified pursuit of costly, dangerous, and unreliable new reactors which create yet more nuclear waste for which there is no safe disposal option.”

“Most of us know nuclear power isn’t safe, but there are a host of economic and environmental reasons to be wary of this proposal,” said Tom Clements, Friends of the Earth’s Southeast Region Nuclear Coordinator. “New reactors cost billions of dollars, and nuclear power is far more expensive than other alternatives. The Public Service Commission must protect the interests of South Carolinians and reject Duke Energy's request to plan for more reactors. If this plan goes through, it could mean higher energy prices for all of us, deter investment in alternatives, and result in more nuclear waste for which there is no solution.”

Duke Energy’s application from December 2007 will be considered at a Public Service Commission hearing in Columbia on April 17. To learn more, you can view the full text of the “Petition to Intervene” filed yesterday afternoon by Friends of the Earth at: http://www.foe.org/southcarolina/DukeReactorPetition.pdf.

All documents in the preconstruction cost docket can be seen on the Public Service Comission website at: http://dms.psc.state.sc.us/dockets/dockets.cfc?Method=DocketDetail&DocketID=102593

Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of an influential, international network of grassroots groups in 70 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has been at the forefront of high-profile efforts to create a more healthy, just world.

###