Monday, April 16, 2007

Nuclear power in North Carolina

The debate goes on regarding whether to use more nuclear generated power or coal generation. But another concern is emerging about how to keep nuclear plants safe as spent fuel accumulates.

A News and Observer publication discusses an "emerging issue" regarding accumulation of radioactive waste at the Shearon Harris plant in southern Wake County...
News and Observer
April 15, 2007
John Murawski, Staff Writer

Nuclear foes see danger in waste
Harris plant starts relicensing process

The Shearon Harris nuclear plant has long drawn scrutiny over the safety of atomic power. But safety concerns are shifting to an emerging issue: the buildup of radioactive waste at the site in volumes never anticipated when the plant began operating 20 years ago.

Longtime nuclear critics plan to highlight the nuclear waste quandary during a two-year safety review as Progress Energy seeks to extend the Shearon Harris operating license into the middle of the century. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold the first public meeting on the Shearon Harris relicensing on Wednesday in Apex.

The nuclear waste issue is gaining momentum nationwide amid growing concerns that nuclear plants are potential targets for terrorism and sabotage. With no long-term solution in sight for disposing of nuclear waste, many nuclear plants are storing three times as much waste as the temporary pools were originally expected to hold. Unlike the nuclear reactors themselves, the storage sites usually are not heavily fortified against attack. Read more...

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