Friday, April 1, 2011

Florida Green Party calls for state to shut down and phase out nuclear power plants

March 31, 2011 at 7:57 am by Mitch Perry

Friday will mark three weeks since the horrific earthquake/tsunami devastated Japan’s northeast and knocked out the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant reactor’s cooling system.
ABC News reports that Japanese officials are testing the soil contaminated by radiation from the crippled plant to try to determine whether spring farming can begin, as “alarmingly high radiation levels” have been detected outside the evacuation zone today.
In the immediate days that followed the disaster, discussions began about the viability of nuclear power — from which the U.S. currently gets at least 20 percent of its energy — without a firm consensus on what happens next.
Although much has been made of the fact that no nuclear power plants have been built in the U.S. since the incident at Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1979, it isn’t because those who favor such plants have been spooked by that incident.  No, it’s because of the exorbitant costs associated with building a plant that has stopped production.
According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the last construction permit for a nuclear plant was issued in January of 1978.  The last year a nuclear plant went on line was in 1996, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
In Florida, there are currently five nuclear reactors in operation in Florida, with two at Turkey Point on Biscayne Bay, two in Port St. Lucie, and one at Crystal River. The Crystal River reactor (CR-3) has been shut down for repairs since September 2009, when a large crack was discovered in the concrete and steel containment vessel. In recent weeks, just as the plant was being prepared to go back online, new cracks were discovered.
Now the Green Party of Florida says after Japan, no more.


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