Distributed by the Green Party of the United States, http://gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=596, March 11, 2013
GREEN PARTY OF FLORIDA
On the second anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear accident, the Green Party of Florida expresses condolences to Japanese victims of this ongoing disaster, and solidarity with the people of Japan who have mobilized a growing popular movement against nuclear power.
Florida Greens welcome Duke Energy’s permanent closure of the Crystal River nuclear plant, and call on Duke Energy and FPL to cancel new nuclear projects in Florida and return Cost Recovery funds to customers.
Florida Greens call on Gov. Scott and State Legislature to become more informed about the risks and real costs of nuclear power and fossil fuels, and to lead Florida in a bold 21st Century Clean Energy Initiative that invests in conservation & efficiency, solar and clean renewables.
On March 11, 2011 Japan experienced an earthquake and tsunami that resulted in multiple catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power complex. The explosions and meltdowns at Fukushima, and the subsequent leaks that continue to occur, have released massive quantities of deadly radiation into the air and water. The negative health effects of the Fukushima disaster are global, and the radioactive isotopes that have been released from the damaged reactors in Fukushima, and that continue to leak into the soil, air and water, will continue to cause sickness and premature death for many generations yet unborn.
The Green Party of Florida welcomes Duke Energy’s decision to permanently close its damaged nuclear power facility in Crystal River, which would have required an investment of several billion dollars by Duke’s Florida customers to repair an aging reactor scheduled for decommissioning in 2016.
“As we mark the 2nd anniversary of the still-unfolding Fukushima nuclear disaster, the grave risks of operating these aging nuclear power plants beyond their original life span should be reconsidered,” said Michael Canney, GPFL spokesperson and clean energy advocate. “Greens have always opposed the NRC’s rubber stamping of 20-year license extensions and ‘uprates’ for aging nuclear power plants in the U.S., so that big utilities can avoid decommissioning and continue generating profits.” Canney adds. “This practice is a dangerous form of nuclear “Russian Roulette” that will unnecessarily put public health and safety at risk, when there are safer and much more economical alternatives available. Decommissioning Crystal River is the right thing to do.”
Duke Energy’s plan to replace aging nuclear and coal powered base load generation facilities with generators powered by natural gas may make sense from a business perspective, but burning more fossil fuels is at best only a temporary solution. What is urgently needed is a commitment by our elected officials and the corporations that produce electricity to move beyond the dead-end fossil fuel energy economy to an energy policy that promotes conservation, efficiency and clean, sustainable energy technologies. Instead of wasting billions on expanding nuclear power generation, Florida needs to invest in a bold new green energy initiative that will increase efficiency, reduce consumption, and create thousands of “green energy” jobs.
Instituting statewide efficiency and conservation measures alone would avert the need for another large base load plant, and it would utilize the cheapest form of energy, energy we don’t use. Instead, Duke Energy plans to not only build natural gas (frack gas) powered generators as a replacement for the Crystal River nuke, Duke also plans to build two brand new nuclear reactors in rural Levy County, with funds collected in advance from their utility customers. If the current cost estimates are accurate, these nuclear power plants will be the most expensive ever built. They will consume millions of gallons of water every day, and put at risk the precious aquifer and freshwater springs of the Nature Coast.
“Crystal River already presents a massive long-term radioactive waste problem, and there is currently no plan for safely disposing of the hundreds of tons of highly radioactive fuel rods that are stored there,” said Jennifer Sullivan, Hernando County resident and co-chair of the Green Party of Florida. “Why should Florida utility ratepayers be forced to subsidize a ridiculously expensive nuclear power plant in Levy County, which will put the entire Nature Coast at risk?”
Rather than wait for a ruling by the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board on a pending legal challenge to the project, which is focused on protection of the local and regional water resources from the negative impacts of the Levy Nuclear Plant, Duke Energy should immediately announce the cancellation of this $24 billion Levy County boondoggle and refund the money the company has already charged its customers under the ill-conceived Nuclear Cost Recovery law, which Greens and others have called a “license to steal.”
“When all the costs and risks are taken into consideration, nuclear power is a bad investment, and a dead end technology. It should not be subsidized at the expense of investing in energy efficiency and cleaner and safer sustainable energy technologies, that will reduce dangerous wastes and toxic emissions, ” said Steve Showen, Green Party of Florida co-chair. He adds, “With alternative technologies becoming now as cheap as fossil fuel systems, even natural gas, the door is open to a new world of safe, clean and secure energy production. The U.S. is falling behind in the global manufacture, sales and installation of these systems, held hostage by our domestic fossil fuel and nuclear industries.”
Florida Greens strongly believe our “Sunshine State” has a golden opportunity to lead the way in deploying currently available clean and sustainable technologies, and incorporating them into a more democratic distributed energy network. Investing in locally produced power and allowing smaller independent producers to sell energy to a smart grid would make our state’s energy grid more secure from disasters, whether natural or man-made.
The Green Party of Florida calls upon Gov. Scott, the Florida legislature and the Public Service Commission to support a bold and innovative 21st Century Clean Energy Initiative, that prioritizes conservation and efficiency and invests in solar and other clean renewables. Citizens need and deserve an energy policy that is based on the best interests of the public rather than the financial interests of private energy companies.
For more information about the Green Party:
Green Party leaders call for a moratorium on nuclear plants, insist that the Fukushima catastrophe quashes the myth that nuclear energy is a safe alternative
GPUS Press Release – March 15, 2011
Public Service Commission Gives Nuclear Utilities License to Steal Millions from Ratepayers
“Early Cost Recovery” scam approved to fund upgrading of aging reactors and new nukes that may never be built
GPFL Press Release – November 7, 2011
2-23-10 Florida faces nuclear threat (Green Pages)
4-7-11 Green Party of Florida Joins Legal Challenge to Contest Nuclear Reactor Design Approval
311: Surviving Japan (Documentary to be officially released 3/11/13)
KAKUSEI: The Fukushima End
Filmmaker reveals enduring cost of Fukushima contamination
For more information about nuclear power
Symposium and press conference in New York City on March 11: Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident. On the 2nd anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, nuclear industry watchdogs, public health advocates, scientists and citizen activists are gathering in NY for a 2-day symposium. (Livestreamed, to be archived)
Beyond Nuclear http://www.beyondnuclear.org
Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) http://www.nirs.org
Asahi Shimbun – Fukushima Disaster News
Japan’s cleanup lags from tsunami, nuke accident
‘No Nukes!’: Fukushima Protesters Out in Force Ahead of Two-Year Anniversary
On Fukushima anniversary: Protesters rail against Abe, reactors
Nearly 300 events held nationwide to voice anger at government
Taiwan: Up to 200,000 protest nuclear energy
By Ann Yu / The China Post / March 10, 2013
Questions and answers about Crystal River nuclear plant
Tampa Bay Times staff – February 6, 2013
Duke Energy announces closing of Crystal River nuclear power plant
Tampa Bay Times – Posted February 5, 2013
Editorial: Close Crystal River nuclear plant for good
Tampa Bay Times – February 5, 2013
Crystal River nuclear plant: $1.3B and counting
Tampa Bay Times – February 3, 2013
03/11/2014 – 00:00