This year for Earth Day, April 22, 2023, NPC’s Joanne Sweeney was part of a weekend of Activism. The SC Foothills group of the Sierra Club chairman, Frank Powell and his wife Jane hosted an event to raise awareness of the issues at the Oconee Nuclear Station. The event included a candid conversation with NRC inspector at Oconee, a wonderful boat tour, and learning the history of Lake Keowee. It was a chilly, beautiful day with some wind, but boating traffic was lighter, which was nice.
The SC Foothills group and Beyond Nuclear have intervened in opposition to the Duke Energy license extension request for the Oconee Nuclear station and Nuclear Watch South is collaborating and supporting. There will be opportunities for affected communities and organizations to comment and submit affidavits in the coming months.
Their efforts have been rewarded by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to request that 17 plants with flood risks revise the Generic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that was submitted for licensing extension. Oconee was designed to operate for 40 years. It has already gotten one extension for 20 years, and now Duke wants to operate for another 80. The old EIS doesn’t address flooding, and the scoping for a revised EIS doesn’t include atmospheric rivers dropping 27 inches in 24 hours and other climate change impacts.
The design for Oconee and its lake system is unique and would not be approved by today’s standards. The NRC says dam safety is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) responsibility, the NRC is focused on safety at the plant. There’s 6 pages of contention concerning the scope for the EIS that will be edited to a fact sheet. The affected communities, individuals and organizations in the emergency planning zone can comment. Sautee is in the 50 mile zone.
Visit www.nonukesyall.org or reach out to Joanne Sweeney for more information and to get involved.