Friday, September 20, 2013

Green River Nuke Plant

Wednesday night we went to a fundraiser for HEAL Utah (Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah) hosted by Michael and Jill Jeppesen to find out more about the Green River nuclear project.  

When I first heard about the concept of a single guy spearheading an effort to build a new nuclear plant on the Green River a few years ago it seemed so preposterous that I sorta dismissed it.  However, despite the fact that no new nuke plants have been commissioned since 1977 and price tag of at least $12 billion dollars, the cozy relationship between “entrepeneurs”, state legislators (in this case, one of those people is both), and the state engineer’s office (that is funded by a committee chaired by the “entrepeneur”) has resulted in the very real possibility that the Green River nuke plant could indeed happen.  Here’s a link to the details:

and here’s a link to way more than you ever wanted to know about the economics of nuke plants:

There’s a trial that starts next week that will be the best chance yet to defeat this boondoggle that will result in not only taking ever-decreasing water out of the Green/Colorado (the Bureau of Rec just announced that they will be dramatically decreasing the Glen Canyon dam outflow indefinitely starting next year due to inadequate inflows) but also divert resources and energy (so to speak) from ongoing efforts to continue with wind and solar power, both of which Utah and surrounding states have aplenty.   But at least nuclear power costs 2-2.5  times the rate per kilowatt hour than the current national average. 

Additionally, I’m no counterterrorism expert, but I would think that the considerable news that America’s first new nuke plant in 36 years would raise the eyebrows of someone who might have designs to disrupt life in these United States…..

There’s no “action” per se to take on this issue at the moment, but you can follow the trial and get all fired up via email updates from the HEAL site , and if you want to know that a charitable donation will immediately go 100% towards a good, immediate cause, you can donate to HEAL, again via their website to help them pay for the considerable costs of assembling a strong legal team and expert opinions to argue the case.

Whether or not you live in Utah, if you’ve been through Green River on your way to ride in Moab or float the Colorado you know that it’s a sleepy town in the middle of nowhere that understands that the jobs touted by the plant’s proponents will be fleeting during construction. 

If approved, Utah would have the dubious distinction of being the only state in the country to both create nuclear waste and store it.  

And though we all use energy and intuitively know that our dependence (here in the intermountain West) comes primarily from dirty coal, the economics, meltdown risks, and water demands of nuclear power is not necessarily the answer; there's are many reasons why a lot of nuke plants have been prematurely decommissioned and dismantled.  

We threw down $250 to HEAL after hearing their compelling arguments; it’s a worthy investment.  

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