“Plant Vogtle: A Nuclear Disaster Waiting to Happen”
Aug. 15, 2017: On Wednesday and Thursday, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
will hold a series of public forums in Atlanta and Augusta detailing the unsafe conditions
at the nuclear power plants now under construction at Plant Vogtle. The meetings will
feature Arnold Gundersen, a certified nuclear power plant engineer and a long-time critic
of the Westinghouse AP1000 reactors.
Press Advisory | Fairewinds' Presentation Powerpoint
BREDL & Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff Present
Safe, Clean Power Proposal to Burke County, GA
June 2, 2017: Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff advise Burke County Development Authority to request an update on the Toshiba-Westinghouse bankruptcy and its potential impacts on the partially constructed Vogtle nuclear power plants. We also to request that no additional cost increases will be passed along to Burke County ratepayers for this failed nuclear endeavor.
The League files Appeal of Plant Vogtle Decision
Oct. 11, 2016: Hydrogen created during an accident in a nuclear power plant can explode. Hydrogen igniters are supposed to burn the gas before it reaches dangerous levels. But rather than performing a rigorous analysis as required by federal law and common sense, Southern Nuclear chose to modify its design by adding two hydrogen igniters in a “likely area” based on personal “judgment” of its engineers. Reliance on engineering judgment instead of rigorous testing and analysis creates uncertainty and compromises plant safety.
BREDL & Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff File Reply to NRC
June 3, 2016: Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and chapter Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff filed their reply to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in an ongoing battle against a license amendment at Plant Vogtle which would increase the potential risk of hydrogen fire and explosion, causing damage to the community living in the shadow of nuclear power plants in Burke County, Georgia.
League Files New Safety Lawsuit Against Plant Vogtle Construction
May 12, 2016: Today BREDL and the Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff announced a challenge to a license amendment at Plant Vogtle which would increase the potential risk of hydrogen fire and explosion, causing damage to the containment structures of two nuclear power plants now being constructed in Burke County, Georgia. Unaccountably, four years elapsed before the company informed NRC of this risk.
BREDL Press Release | BREDL Petition
BREDL & Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff respond to Southern Nuclear and the NRC on the Plant Vogtle petition to intervene
Jan. 11, 2016: In our legal brief filed January 11, 2016, BREDL and its chapter Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff have demonstrated that safety margins have been reduced at the nuclear reactors now under construction in Waynesboro, Georgia. Southern Company's failure to obtain a license amendment at Plant Vogtle prior to implementing the changes is a violation of federal regulations.
Read BREDL comments
BREDL and chapter Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff Petition U.S. NRC
Dec. 7: Southern Nuclear Operating Company is seeking to amend its license to relax the construction standards for the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant Units 3 and 4. If permitted by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the changes would alter the reactors’ critical radiation shielding walls. BREDL and Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff oppose the license amendment because it would endanger plant safety, plant personnel and the surrounding community.
Read BREDL Press Release | View BREDL Petition
BREDL and its chapter Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff provide comments on the proposed License
Amendment Request for the Vogtle nuclear power plants
Nov. 9, 2015: Southern Company has filed a license amendment request for the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia which would allow the preemptory alteration of the license before a full public review. We oppose the granting of the Preliminary Amendment Request and the License Amendment itself. Our principal interests are the health and safety of our members living near the plant and the general public.
BREDL comments on Plant Vogtle NPDES permit
March 3, 2015: Southern Company seeks a permit to discharge heated radioactive water from Plant Vogtle into the Savannah River. BREDL has identified two issues of major concern: 1) The draft permit contains no effective heat discharge limits, and 2) The draft permit would allow 630 Curies of radioactivity to be discharged into the Savannah River annually. Public comment deadline in March 20, 2015. Call us to find out more.
Group Launches Radiation Protection Project
Jan. 6, 2015: Today at a press conference in Augusta, a group launched a new program to protect residents from nuclear power plant accidents. The group, Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff, will be meeting with residents of Augusta, Waynesboro and nearby communities within the emergency zone around the Plant Vogtle nuclear power station. The project centers on one of the most dangerous pollutants, radioactive iodine, which can affect the thyroid gland.
BREDL Press Release
Industrial Surface Water Withdrawal Permit No. 017-0191-11
Vogtle Electric Generating Plant Units 3 & 4, Burke Co., GA
May 15, 2014: Georgia EPD's inclusion of mitigation in a water withdrawal permit is the wrong measure in the wrong place. Proper consideration of such measures is the province of an NPDES waste water discharge permit, which has been applied for but not released by EPD. We believe it would be unfair and contrary to the law if NPDES mitigation measures were allowed through the back door of a water withdrawal permit instead of a discharge permit, the proper place to consider chemical and thermal discharges to waters of the United States.
Read BREDL Comments
BREDL's Statement to the
National Environmental Justice Advisory Council
Sept. 11, 2013: The United States Environmental Protection Agency established the Office of Environmental Justice in 1992 because all Americans regardless of race, color, national origin, or economic circumstance should be able to live in a clean, healthy environment. The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council was established as a federal advisory committee to EPA. Rev. Charles Utley presented recommendations on two broad topics—brownfields and nuclear power—which affect EPA initiatives.
Residents Raise Vogtle Safety Issues
at Meeting with Obama Administration
Nov. 19, 2012: Today Georgians concerned about Plant Vogtle met with Obama Administration officials to deliver a letter of grievances against the nuclear power plant in their midst. The meeting at the White House conference center included Jon Carson, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and Paul Seidler, Director of External Affairs for Environmental Management for the US Department of Energy. Among those at the meeting representing the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League were Rev. Charles Utley, staff Environmental Justice Campaigner, and Board Vice President Rev. Willie Tomlin.
BREDL Press Release | Read BREDL Letter delivered to the White House
The Waynesboro-Washington Watch
Shell Bluff area citizens travel all night by bus
Nov. 19, 2012:
Today Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff journeyed from Georgia to Washington, DC to witness the oral arguments in our case before the US Court of Appeals. Rev. Charles Utley is Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League’s staff member who helped organize the trip. Emerging from the courtroom, he said, “Our lawyers asked why the new information from Fukushima was not included in Plant Vogtle’s license.” Rev. Utley remarked that the judges seemed to notice the many people in attendance. “We traveled all night to be here today to bear silent witness against our nuclear neighbor, Plant Vogtle.”
Legal Fact Sheet | BREDL Press Release
News coverage: WFXG Fox 54 Story
NY Times blog: A Higher Price Tag for a Nuclear Project
May 11, 2012: The flagship project of a hoped-for but not-yet-realized “nuclear renaissance,” the Vogtle 3 and 4 reactors under construction near Augusta, Ga., may cost about $900 million more than had been estimated, the Southern Company said in a filing this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Read full article
Plant Vogtle and Environmental Justice
Reverend Charles Utley of Hyde Park in Augusta has pointed out the continued poverty in Burke County after the construction boom that accompanied the first two Vogtle reactors. Considering that Georgia Power has to come up with about $14 billion to build the plant and the NRC charges almost $100 million just to get the license to operate the plant, no wonder monies are not available for additional economic development projects. Yet, with so much money being spent, it would seem that more funds could be directed to economic development in the area. Without it, environmental injustice via disproportionate impacts becomes an issue that should be seriously considered.
Read more from African American Environmentalist Association
Groups File Motion Requesting the
Suspension of Vogtle's NRC License until Issues Resolved
April 18, 2012: In 2011 a catastrophic accident destroyed the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station. Early this year, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a construction and operation license to Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle. In doing so, the NRC has attempted to avoid its responsibility to the public by refusing to address the environmental implications of Fukushima or even grant us a hearing. Therefore, we petition the court to suspend the NRC’s license until the court resolves these issues.
View Groups' Legal Motion
Groups: NRC Refusal to Require Fukushima Safety Enhancements for Vogtle Reactors Will Force
Filing of Federal Court Action
April 16, 2012: An adverse decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
reached today will force parties concerned about the already troubled Vogtle nuclear reactor project in Georgia to
file a motion this week in federal court, according to representatives of nine organizations that are seeking to slow
down the Vogtle project so that necessary post-Fukushima safety enhancements can be taken into account on the
front end, before billions of ratepayer dollars are spent.
Groups' Press Release
Press Advisory: NRC Rejects Vogtle Motion
A streaming audio replay of a related news event is available here.
BREDL's comments regarding Plant Vogtle Title V Air Permit and request for Public Hearing
March 29, 2012:
On behalf of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and our chapter the Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff, I write to provide comments on the Environmental Protection Division’s draft permit. Also, we request that a public hearing be held in Burke County before a permitting decision is made to enable residents to provide comments to EPD.
BREDL's letter to US DOE regarding Loan Guarantees for Plant Vogtle
March 2012: The US Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office must protect the U.S. taxpayer by not approving defective loan guarantee proposals; specifically, rejecting a $8.33 billion loan guarantee for the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant.
BREDL March 19 Letter
Attachment: The Economics of Nuclear Reactors: Renaissance or Relapse?, Mark Cooper, Senior Fellow for Economic Analysis, Institute for Energy and Environment, Vermont Law School, June 2009
NRC License for New Vogtle Reactors will be Opposed in Federal Court
Feb. 9, 2012: 9 Groups Contend That NRC Is Failing to Fully Consider Fukushima Lessons Before Issuing a Final License to Construct and Operate Two New Nuclear Reactors
With the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) expected to consider as early as Thursday whether to issue the final license for two new reactors at the site of the currently operating Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia, nine national, state and regional groups will ask the NRC to delay its decision until the groups can file a challenge in federal court.
Groups' Press Advisory
Group Claims Agency Cover Up Safety Problems at Plant Vogtle
Feb. 8, 2012: Today in Atlanta, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League revealed that potential safety problems at Plant Vogtle are being withheld from public view. The group said that for over a year it had received no answer to its formal request for disclosure of information about Plant Vogtle’s ability to withstand earthquakes and other threats. In a statement to be delivered today to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Office of New Reactors’ public meeting on Plant Vogtle construction, BREDL Vice President Rev. Willie Tomlin asks why the agency is keeping the information from public view and reiterates the request for disclosure.
BREDL Press Release
Read Rev. Willie Tomlin's Statement
Civil Rights Icon Urges Residents to Fight On
Jan. 7, 2012: On this day the inspiring words and visionary leadership of Rev. Dr. Lowery reached out to the local leaders of the campaign to halt the expansion of nuclear power in their community. Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff was founded in March 2010 as a chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League.
Read The Metro Courier article Civil Rights Icon Urges Residents to Fight On
Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery Rallies
Environmental Justice Campaigners in Georgia
Jan. 7, 2012: Today at a church within view of Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant, civil rights veteran Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery spoke about the issues currently affecting the people this region. In attendance were many local residents from the rural Shell Bluff community in Burke County and many people from the Atlanta area who arrived in a bus chartered by Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions.
|Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
More Details: Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff/BREDL Press Release | Event Flyer
files contention with NRC
August 11, 2011, the League launched a new initiative to halt the
expansion of nuclear power in Georgia. The campaign is based on
the testimony in the documents filed with the Atomic Safety and
Licensing Board of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Our major
points are: 1) The lessons of the nuclear disaster in Japan, 2)
River floods caused by distant earthquakes and 3) The violations
of environmental justice by the NRC.
Contention filed with NRC | Expert affidavits from Dr.
Ross McCluney and Rev. Charles Utley |
Fact sheet: Vogtle
League appeals Plant Vogtle decision
Dec. 9, 2010: On November 30, 2010 The Atomic Safety and
Licensing Board of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission rejected our
latest petition on Plant Vogtle. In their ruling, the ASLB said
that a statement by the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards,
the committee with principal responsibility for reactor safety at
the NRC, was irrelevant. The ACRS statement was at the heart of
our argument. Incredibly, the ASLB said that we should have
realized and acted upon the relevant statement by the ACRS
Chairman two months before he said it. This appeal to the full
Commission is lodged in hope that clearer thinking may prevail.
Read BREDL Appeal
Write to President Obama
Let him know why you oppose
Georgia Powers plans to expand Plant Vogtle
December 2010: Shell Bluff Concerned Citizens who live
in the shadow of Plant Vogtle ask that all residents of Burke
County let the President know about this injustice.
View Action Alert
Groups send Plant Vogtle
Reply to NRC
Sept. 22, 2010: Today in the continuing campaign against the
expansion of nuclear power in Georgia and the Souteast, the
Center for a Sustainable Coast, Georgia WAND and the Blue Ridge
Environmental Defense League sent the US Nuclear Regulatory
Commission a point-by-point argument as to why the Atomic Safety
and Licensing Board should take a closer look at the problems
with the proposed addition of two nuclear reactors at the Vogtle
nuclear power station near Waynesboro, Georgia.
PUBLIC HEARING - Plant
Vogtle Environmental Impacts
ATTEND THE PUBLIC HEARING
October 7, 2010
Augusta Technical College
Waynesboro Campus Auditorium
216 Hwy 24 South
More info: Public
Hearing Factsheet | Environmental Injustice
Why we oppose expansion
Groups File New Legal
Challenge at Plant Vogtle
Aug. 17, 2010: League files new contention with
nuclear licensing board regarding inadequacy of
containment/coating inspection program for Vogtle Units 3 and 4.
Louis Zeller, Science Director for the Blue Ridge
Environmental Defense League, explained why the groups took this
action. "Southern Nuclear Company has overlooked a major
problem which we simply cannot allow to go unchallenged. The
fundamental requirement of the operator is to protect public
health and safety. Southern Nuclear Company is not doing its job.
Release | BREDL
League Files Unprecedented
Air Pollution Challenge at Plant Vogtle
Aug. 12, 2010: This week in a bold move, the Blue Ridge
Environmental Defense League filed a legal challenge to the
proposed air pollution permit at Plant Vogtle. The August 10th
filing was one of the first in the nation under the federal Clean
Air Act challenging excessive radionuclide emissions from nuclear
power. In a petition to the US Environmental Protection Agency,
the League called for rejection of the permit issued by the State
of Georgia because it failed to limit radioactive air pollution,
failed to protect public health and failed to prevent
BREDL Press Release
| View BREDL
BREDL comments on permit amendment for
April 6, 2010: BREDL and our chapter Shell Bluff Concerned
Citizens comment on the Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Environmental Protection Divisions operating permit
amendment for Georgia Power Companys two additional
pressurized water reactors at Southern Nuclear Operating Company
Vogtle Electric Generating Plant.
Groups file Petition for Review
regarding Vogtle Units 3 and 4
Oct. 29, 2009: Today organizations concerned with the high costs and environmental risks posed by Southern Company’s plan to build two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle near Augusta, Ga. announced their filing of an appeal in federal court to stop the proposed expansion.
|Our appeal calls upon the court to
review the site permit and the work authorization issued
by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for Vogtle Units 3
and 4. In the petition for review, filed in the US Court
of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, we contend that
the NRC violated the Atomic Energy Act, the National
Environmental Policy Act, and other relevant laws. The
appeal states, "Petitioners seek review and reversal
of the issuance of the ESP and the LWA for the Vogtle ESP
site." The appeal was filed by attorneys for the
Center for a Sustainable Coast, Savannah River Keeper,
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Georgia Womens
Action for New Directions and the Blue Ridge
Environmental Defense League.
Read Press Release | Download Petition
July 2009: Since 1987 Plant Vogtle has generated
electric power. Today, two nuclear reactors operate at the site
on banks of the Savannah River in Burke County, Georgia. Now
Southern Company wants to add two more nuclear reactors. But the
two existing reactors have placed an unfair burden on residents.
More would be an environmental injustice. Heres why. BREDL Factsheet
BREDL's Comments on Draft EIS for Vogtle Nuclear Power
Plant - Dec. 28, 2007: Major problems we identified in the
Plant Vogtle draft Environmental Impact Statement:
1) It dismisses the mounting evidence of negative impacts on the
health of people living around nuclear plants;
2) The assessment of radiological releases to the public is
fatally flawed; and
3) Radionuclide emissions data indicates harm to public.
The public record contains evidence that Vogtle has not and will
not meet the requirements under federal law 10 CFR § 100.21
(c)(1). Test results for Vogtle indicate the existing nuclear
power plant is the source of a variety of radionuclides which
contaminate sediment, river water, fish and drinking water. There
is an increase in negative health impacts in proximity to and
contemporaneous with Plant Vogtle operations. Southern Nuclear
Operating Company seeks to add two new nuclear reactors to the
two already in operation at its Plant Vogtle power station near
Waynesboro, Georgia. The company submitted an application for an
early site permit in 2006.
|PUBLIC HEALTH RISK OF NEW VOGTLE
June 20, 2007: The data presented in this report detail the increases in
environmental radioactivity and local rises in cancer
rates since the Vogtle reactors began operating. The
parallel between these two trends is to be taken
seriously, as radioactive fission products are
carcinogenic, and are especially toxic to the young. The
addition of two new reactors at Vogtle would double the
capacity of the plant and presumable double the
radioactive emissions. Assuming there is no major
reduction in health risk to the local population
such as an influx of new medical services or a large
reduction in poverty the local population will be
at increased risk of cancer, based on the findings in
Risks of New Reactors at Vogtle, June 2007
- child cancer mortality change
|Bio: Joseph J.
Mangano, MPH, MBA, is Director, Secretary, and
the National Coordinator of the Radiation and Public
Mr. Mangano is a public health administrator and
researcher who has studied the connection between
low-dose radiation exposure and subsequent risk of
diseases such as cancer and damage to newborns. He has
published numerous articles and letters in medical and
other journals in addition to his book Low Level
Radiation and Immune System Disorders: An Atomic Era
Legacy which examines the connection between radiation
exposure and widespread health problems.
October 31, 2006: Help Stop Nuclear Power in Georgia -
Southern Nuclear Company of Georgia wants to build additional
nuclear power plants near Waynesboro. This would increase the
negative health impacts on nearby residents and increase the cost
of electric power. The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League is
joining with other groups who oppose this expansion. Will you
(Declaration of Standing
Deadline was December 8, 2006)
can help | 40 mile radius map (1MB)
Declaration/Standing Q&A Fact Sheet
March 16, 2006: Nuclear
Power Licensing Factsheet - One-Step Licensing of
Nuclear Plants Short-circuits Safety