Too much pollution at Westinghouse already.

Westinghouse wants continue operating an aging nuclear fuel plant near Columbia for another 40 years, even though the facility has a history of leaks, spills and pollution.

The 50-year-old Westinghouse factory, is one of only three facilities that makes fuel rods for nuclear power plants. It’s also located right next to Congaree National Park, in a predominantly African American and low-income community.

Westinghouse has a long history of leaks and spills including nitrate, uranium and Technetium 99, which leach into groundwater and maybe the Congaree River. In 2018, Westinghouse was caught when uranium leaked through a hole in the plant’s floor, and exposed a coverup dating back to 2008 that it had never told federal or state officials about.

But despite all these problems, Westinghouse wants a license to operate for another 40 years, and they want it early! Their current license doesn’t expire until 2027, but they’re worried that the failure of the VC Summer nuclear plant, and a change in leadership in Congress or the White House, could turn the public against the nuclear industry. So they’re trying to force the issue now, while they think nobody is paying attention.

Help prove them wrong: Click here to send an official comment to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) telling them not to renew Westinghouse’s license!

Reports say that the facility is unlikely to clean up it’s past spills or stop new ones if their permit is renewed. It’s outrageous for the NRC to give a toxic nuclear plant with this many problems another 40 year license to pollute.

If the NRC is serious about public health, they should deny this early renewal application and conduct a more detailed environmental impact statement. They also should require Westinghouse to go at least one full year without an accident or spill before they are allowed to keep operating.

Here’s a video from local activist Virginia Sanders explaining some of the pollution at the plant:

Lower Richland resident and National Sierra Club employee , Virginia Sanders talking about Westinghouse proposed 20 yr license renewal interview at Westinghouse on Bluff Road , Hopkins SC . Also now on YouTube https://youtu.be/paWcoWYDhV8Please copy this link https://www.facebook.com/100002263884408/posts/2513541648731273?sfns=mo

Posted by 350 Columbia on Tuesday, November 19, 2019

An here’s Tom Clements, a nuclear safety watchdog from Columbia, telling the NRC they didn’t study the Westinghouse plant thoroughly enough to justify a new license:

Tom Clements speaking at the Westinghouse/NRC public meeting regarding Westinghouse license renewal – Medallion Center Nov 14, 2019

Posted by 350 Columbia on Thursday, November 14, 2019

It’s clear that this facility cannot be allowed to keep operating – but unless we speak up before November 27, that’s just what the NRC may approve. Click here to send an official comment to the NRC and tell them NOT to approve another 40 years of Westinghouse pollution.

Dominion go home

This Friday the South Carolina Public Service Commission (SC-PSC) will meet to review, and are expected to approve, Dominion Power’s proposal to buy our local utility SCE&G.

Let’s be really clear, this is a bad deal for our people, and the planet. If the deal is approved, ratepayers will get a small discount (less than $22/month). In exchange, we have to keep paying for the VC Summer nuclear debacle for decades. And the Dominion has already let slip that they plan to expand the Atlantic Coast Pipeline into South Carolina and build a new generation of fracked-gas power plants that will poison our air and climate.

The SC-PSC and Dominion think South Carolina is whipped. After years of fighting the VC Summer plant, paying the highest electricity bills in the country, and living with corporate polluters — they don’t think we’ve got any fight left. They’ve got another thing coming. And this Friday, I’m going to tell them so, with your help.

I’m assembling a crack team of activists and experts from Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. We’re going to the hearing Friday to set Dominion and the SC-PSC straight, and speak a little truth to their corporate-power-plan. If you’re in or near Columbia, please join us at 1pm on Friday the 14th.

If you’re impacted by Dominion – as a ratepayer or constituent in Virginia, A North Carolinian battling the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, or a however you know them – Add your name and a comment about why Dominion is bad. We’ll try and read as many of the comments as we can at Friday’s hearing so the Press and public hear your story

Dominion initially offered SC ratepayers a $1,000 refund check, if they were allowed to buy SCE&G, but we would still have had to pay another $2.3 billion over 20 years. That scam was a little obvious ($1,000 back in exchange for $2.3 billion?!). So Dominion changed the deal. Their latest offer is to cut rates by about $22 a month, but it will still require us to pay more than $1,600 each for the reactors before the debt is paid.*

That’s a raw deal for ratepayers. But the deal is even worse for the planet and our climate. If allowed to buy the utility, Dominion is almost certain to expand their Atlantic Coast pipeline – a community and climate-wrecking disaster that is already $1.5 billion over budget and month’s behind schedule – into South Carolina. We’re a state blessed with tremendous potential for solar, wind and offshore renewable energy. Locking in a Dominion-owned fossil fuel projects for decades is like asking many South Carolinians to sign our own death certificate, and then pay for it in monthly installments.

The SC-PSC process has never been very accessible to the public. The last time the public was allowed to comment was in October, before the current deal was even known. Without our consent, the SC-PSC now proposes to force ratepayers to pay billions of dollars to a hostile, out-of-state corporation to wreck our climate, communities and common home.

If you’re as outraged as I am about it lend us your name and your story and we’ll read as many of them as we can at Friday’s hearing.