UCF Makes the Trek to Tallahassee to Say NO to Nuclear in Florida

September 14, 2009 at 3:12 pm 6 comments

UCF Students think families and local businesses shouldn’t have to pay for nuclear reactors, especially when there are safer renewables available that do not produce radioactive waste. So, at 4:30 a.m. this past Tuesday, they left Orlando to go to the Public Service Commission Early Cost Recovery hearing. The PSC heard expert testimonies all week to determine the prudence of Progress Energy and Florida Power and Light charging consumers to recoup capital costs for their proposed nuclear reactors.

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), the Office of Public Council, and PCS Phosphate are all intervening in the case. Their witnesses testify that early cost recovery is not sensible and that the reactors aren’t even necessary. Peter Bradford, former Chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, one of SACE’s expert witnesses, testified that our slumping economy is reducing the demand for electricity for the first time in decades. Citing rising costs for materials and an increasing shortage of laborers with the skills to complete these projects, he concludes that the risk the utilities are asking their consumers to bear is just too great. The PSC is scheduled to make its ruling October 26, 2009.

If you think the utilities should keep their hands out of your pockets with their risky investments, make your voice heard! Tell the PSC you do not what to fund Progress and Florida Power and Light’s risky business. Urge them to read the expert testimonies offered by Peter Bradford and Arnie Gundersen that cite hard evidence that the utilities cannot justify the request to raise rates for these projects nor can they ensure that ratepayers will get anything in return for their investment.

Here’s how: Use the info below to contact PSC and reference Docket #090009,:
• PSC Contact page: http://www.psc.state.fl.us/about/contact/
• Local Consumer Assistance Line: 1-850-413-6100

• Toll Free Consumer Assistance Line: 1-800-342-3552

• Toll Free Fax: 1-800-511-0809

UCF is Serious About Not Paying for Risky Nuclear

UCF is Serious About Not Paying for Risky Nuclear

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Entry filed under: campus campaigns, climate justice, corruption, direct action, florida, government, nuclear, power shift, southeast, southern energy network, video.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. R Margolis  |  September 14, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Not to sound too negative, but I have not heard of any off the shelf renewables (other than hydro) that can supply baseload (24/7) power. Until economic energy storage is available, renewables can at best supply peaking power (e.g., PV can help during hot daylight periods).

    Even Dr. Steven Chu is favorable to some increased nuclear:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112755481

    Reply
    • 2. Carter  |  September 15, 2009 at 3:15 pm

      Try and think out side the box a little!

      The problem has to be solved from the bottom up, not the top down. There is a host of alternative energy technologies that reduce base load significantly when applied at the point source of energy use:

      Example: Solar water heating-Thermal storage device for suppling alternative energy when the sun is not shining.

      Over 10% of the electricity consumed in Florida is used to make hot water. There is a fully developed solar thermal technology that could displace that base load in less than 5 years. That’s a lot quicker than a nuclear plant.

      Another example: I own a simple solar refrigeration system that supplies me 27/7 refrigeration from the sun. 9% of residential electricity is consumed for refrigeration.

      Instead of spending 18 billion dollars of consumers money building 2.2 gigaWatts of nuclear power that will increase the average electric bill by 50%, Floridians should create a public benefit fund and use that money to provide capitalization for a decentralized energy infrastructure that puts a solar water heater and solar refrigerator in every home in Florida, reducing base load requirments by 3.5 gigaWatts and lowering consumer’s electric consumption by 30%. This would also be a good first step towards a total smart grid.

      There is no technical reason why we can’t solve our energy and environmental problems with renewable energy technology. But we can’t do it, “business as usual” by trying to apply renewable energy to feed an inefficient,(yet convienient), centralized energy infrastructure. The thing stopping the development of a truely meaningful renewable energy economy is that moving to a decentralized energy infrastructure represents a tremendous transfer of wealth from the utilites industry to consumers and thier not going to let that happen.

      So they spread a lot of half truths and misinformation about the percieved shortcomings of renewables and outright lies about the realities of nuclear energy.

      DON’T BELIEVE THEM!!!

      Despite low carbon emmissions, NUCLEAR IS NOT GREEN!

      Reply
  • 3. Mandy Hancock  |  September 14, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    How about Concentrated Solar with Thermal Storage in Molten Salt?

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-to-use-solar-energy-at-night

    Also, the Dept of Energy released studies showing great potential for offshore wind in the Southeast, with states like North Carolina possessing enough capacity to produce over 300% of its energy needs.

    The UK has successfully harnessed 2 GW in offshore wind and China is beginning its own project with the Gansu wind farm, expected to produce 20 GW by 2020.

    Nuclear will never be ‘safe’ as long as it is in the hands of fallible humans to control. The waste is highly toxic and dangerous and stick around for thousands of years. I just can’t see this as a solution. We need to start thinking outside the box and challenging the status quo on energy issues…

    Reply
    • 4. R Margolis  |  September 14, 2009 at 10:16 pm

      Offshore wind at best has a capacity factor of ~40%. This means that the 20 GW is the maximum when the windmills are all going.

      Certainly CSP has potential for areas with lots of sunshine and cheap land (though they need more steel per unit energy than fossil units or nuclear). However, for areas where land is at a premium (e.g., South Korea where I worked for a time) or the amount of sun is not large enough other sources will be needed.

      I have never said that nuclear is safe. There is no way to generate GW of ANY kind with absolute safety (e.g., arsenic and cadmium used in PV cells is toxic and lasts forever). As far as control of nuclear materials, we know from the Oklo site that radioactive materials can be sequestered for close to 2 billion years:

      http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov/factsheets/doeymp0010.shtml

      If it is worth anything, the history of light water reactors has been one of relative safety (i.e., much safer than fossil fuels). For those areas that cannot use renewables, we will continue to need nuclear energy.

      Reply
  • 5. Rob Brinkman  |  September 15, 2009 at 3:18 am

    I doubt the families of the people who died at Chernobyl or mothers whose children were born deformed think much of the relative safety of nuclear power. Nukes represent the most expensive and uniquely hazardous ways to boils water ever devised by the human race. In the whole of human history the use of fossil or nuclear fuels for energy is relatively recent, for most of our history we found ways to prosper and grow using renewable power, the sun, wind, flowing water, and wood fires.

    Just give me the warm power of the sun
    Give me the steady flow of a waterfall
    Give me the spirit of living things as they return to clay
    Just give me the restless power of the wind
    Give me the comforting glow of a wood fire
    But won’t you take all your atomic poison power away

    Everybody needs some power I’m told
    To shield them from the darkness and the cold
    Some may seek a way to take control when it’s bought and sold
    I know that lives are at stake
    Yours and mine of our descendants in time
    There’s so much to gain and so much to lose
    Everyone of us has to choose
    “Power” by John Hall founding member of No Nules and currently Congressman from New York

    Reply
  • 6. R Margolis  |  September 15, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Even including Chernobyl (and Chernobyl is NOT a light water reactor), nuclear is still far safer than fossil fuels (coal and oil take many lives). As for solar appliances, they would certainly help as long as they are comparable to current model performance (i.e., can cool the same amount of cu ft as a regular refrigerator) for a competitive price.

    I am all for thinking out of the box, but the public will still want heating, cooling, and home electronics that perform similar to what they have now. I am not sure the public will return to a time of significantly lower energy use (i.e., the pre-industrial period).

    Reply

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