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Exelon too easily tries to dismiss risks

Exelon too easily tries to dismiss risks

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The article in the Pantagraph Nov. 9 “Residents discuss nuclear reactor” (Page A5) was useful in describing the hearing in Clinton on the Environmental Impact Statement of the application of Exelon for an Early Site Permit for a proposed second nuclear power plant near Clinton. It missed mentioning several key problems with the application.

Most importantly, the application glosses over that there is no safe place to permanently put lethal radioactive spent fuel. It admits no safe place exists, but considers any risks of spent fuel being stored anywhere to be “acceptable.”

Given that these wastes must remain intact for hundreds of thousands of years before they are safe and the recent leaks of tritium from the Braidwood, Bryon and Dresden reactors into groundwater, this conclusion of the EIS is not acceptable.

The EIS dismisses the role that energy conservation and efficiency can play in reducing the need for a second plant because Exelon anticipates that it will not be able to offer competitively priced power if there were improved efficiency and conservation. This is irrelevant to environmental safety.

The EIS completely ignores the very real potential of renewable energy, particularly wind and solar, to generate secure electricity in Illinois.

In the last four years, approximately 1,650 megawatts of electricity generation - one and a half times as much electricity from the current Clinton plant - has been built, is under construction or is planned in Illinois.

With renewable sources of electricity, including solar, baseload electricity can be provided through a shared network over a wide geographical area, hydro and geothermal storage of energy, fuel cells, improved batteries and use of biofuels when necessary.

Renewable sources of electricity are viable, feasible, inexpensive, and environmentally safe, unlike nuclear power.

These are among the reasons the EIS for the Clinton plant should be rejected.

Roy C. Treadway

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