Duke Energy files Request to Cancel W.S. Lee Nuclear Project
On December 13, 2007 Duke Energy applied to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a license to build and operate two nuclear plants on the Broad River near Gaffney, South Carolina. The application is for two Westinghouse AP1000 Pressurized Water Reactors designated William States Lee III Nuclear Station Units 1 & 2. On June 27, 2008, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, on behalf of its members in South Carolina, filed a legal petition to intervene opposing the power plant before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board. On August 11, 2011, the League filed additional arguments subsequent to the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima. On December 19, 2016, Duke Energy was granted a Combined License from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to construct and operate two AP1OOO units.
UPDATE: On August 25, 2017, Duke Energy, citing Westinghouse's recent bankruptcy, filed a request to cancel the W.S. Lee Nuclear Project. In its filing, Duke Energy stated, "It is unlikely the Company will be able to construct and commence operation of the Project before the end of the next decade. These recent events support the conclusion that the Project, as originally contemplated, should be cancelled in the best interest of customers."
Duke Energy Filing
BREDL Petitions to Supplement Reactor Environmental Impact Statements
Jan. 28, 2015: Contrary to federal law, the required environmental reviews for nuclear power stations proposed by Dominion in Louisa, VA, Duke Energy in Gaffney, SC and a half dozen others omit any reference to the NRC’s recently issued irradiated nuclear fuel storage analysis. Instead, they are directed to environmental analyses that have been outdated; or worse, vacated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for failure to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. Our petitions call for a full environmental assessment of the safety and public health risks of long term storage at the reactor sites.
View Petition to NRC
The League comments on W S Lee water permit
April 19, 2013: South Carolina’s draft NPDES permit is premature. First, a mandatory environmental review is incomplete. Second, the concurrent plant safety review is also incomplete and no license has been issued. Therefore, the state cannot issue this permit until these matters are decided, engineering and environmental questions are settled, and the construction and operation license is finalized.
Read BREDL Comments
Motions filed to bring waste confidence contentions at
North Anna (VA), W.S. Lee (SC) and Bellefonte (AL)
The July 9 motions to reopen and motions for leave to file a new argument (or “contention”) are legal steps necessary to hold certain electric power company’s feet to the nuclear fire. These actions follow the recent federal Court of Appeals order striking down the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s patently ridiculous “Waste Confidence Decision,” which should now be enshrined in Blackstone’s dictionary along with other “legal fictions.”
North Anna Motion | W.S. Lee Motion | Bellefonte Motion
SAFE Carolinas and BREDL interview with
Ned Doyle from Our Southern Community
SAFE Carolinas' Laura Sorensen and BREDL's Lou Zeller were interviewed by Ned Doyle of Our Southern Community. They discussed the proposed W S Lee Nuclear Power Plant.
Listen to the June 2012 radio interview:
Part One | Part Two | Part Three
SAFE Carolinas is a BREDL Chapter.
Our Southern Community is a program exploring the people and the issues of the environment, energy and economics of the Southern Region.
William S. Lee III Nuclear Station FACT SHEET
Clean Water Act NPDES Permit
In Hot Water
NPDES water permits for nuclear power plants are in some ways similar to those of other facilities such as sewage treatment plants. They are granted and monitored by state regulatory agencies under the Clean Water Act. The difference is that the pollutant of principal concern is heat. Steam electric generating plants, including coal-fired and nuclear, generate heat to boil water to make steam to run a turbine attached to a generator. The problem is that roughly two-thirds of the heat energy generated in this process is wasted, produces no power and must be discarded. People all across the Carolinas will be adversely impacted if Duke Energy builds a nuclear plant on the Broad River that is vulnerable to water supply heat problems.
View BREDL Fact Sheet
The League's comments to NRC regarding the Duke Energy WS Lee DEIS
March 6, 2012: “Whatever safety measures are in place can never be sufficient because these facilities are, after all, operated by human beings. We have persistently cautioned against the arrogant notion, promoted by those with a disproportionate confidence in technology, that humanity can completely control nuclear power.”-Gensuikin
Read BREDL's Comments
April 17, 2009: BREDL Reply
to Answers of Duke Energy and NRC Staff regarding new Contention
Eleven on proposed W S Lee Nuclear Plants
GROUP CHARGES NEW NUKES MUST
FOR RADIOACTIVE WASTE SOLUTION
March 10, 2009: Yesterday in a
flurry of legal activity the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense
League filed new arguments opposing nuclear reactor licenses in
Virginia, South Carolina and Alabama. The League acted because of
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's failure to recognize that
high-level radioactive waste storage would pose significant
environmental risks at proposed nuclear power plants at TVA's
Bellefonte, Duke Energy's WS Lee and Dominion Virginia Power's
North Anna stations. Read BREDL Press Release
(includes links to filing documents)
On July 22, 2008 both Duke Energy Carolinas and the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission staff attorneys filed their answers to our
Answer | NRC
Answer) BREDL filed a
motion requesting more time to file our reply and the judges
Request) Our motion stated:
Contemporaneous proceedings initiated by the Commission are
creating scheduling conflicts. These conflicts arise from license
applications for licenses in Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina,
Georgia as well as South Carolina. While this development may not
be the ASLBs doing, neither is it the responsibility of the
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League which merely seeks to
represent its members in South Carolina and elsewhere.
On August 8, 2008 BREDL sent our reply to NRC and Duke Energy. (BREDL
BREDL files appeal to stop Duke Energy in
South Carolina - The granting of a
license to Duke Energy Carolinas would permit the company to
construct and operate two nuclear reactors on the Broad River
near Gaffney, South Carolina. Nuclear reactors here would
endanger over a 2.3 million people in two states living within 50
miles of the plant including Spartanburg, Greenville, Newberry
and Rock Hill in SC and Marion, Morganton, Hickory and Charlotte
in NC. Download June 27 BREDL Petition
|BREDL raised ten fundamental flaws
with Duke's proposal in our legal petition:
1. The design of the nuclear power reactor has not been
certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
2. Duke Energy failed to analyze the carbon footprint of
the construction and operation of the nuclear reactors.
3. Duke failed to identify a plan for meeting its massive
water requirements in adverse weather conditions such as
4. Duke has not demonstrated that it is and financially
able to spend the $18 Billion necessary to build the
5. Duke failed to show the plant could withstand the
largest potential earthquakes.
6. Duke's power plants will not improve the general
welfare, increase the standard of living, or strengthen
free competition in private enterprise as required by the
Atomic Energy Act.
7. Nuclear standards fail to provide equal protection to
all residents as required under the US Constitution.
8. Uranium fuel is not a reliable source of energy.
9. Duke and NRC failed to include adequate protections
from aircraft impacts.
10. There is no long-term plan for disposing of
high-level nuclear waste.
Help Stop Nuclear
Power in South Carolina!
Do You Live 50 miles from Gaffney, SC?
On December 13, 2007 Duke Energy applied to the
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a license to build and
operate two nuclear plants on the Broad River near Gaffney, South
Carolina. The application is for two Westinghouse AP1000
Pressurized Water Reactors designated William States Lee III
Nuclear Station Units 1 & 2. The Blue Ridge Environmental
Defense League is challenging this permit for health, safety and
economic reasons. If you are within the 50-mile zone, you may
join in this effort.
June 27, 2008
Gaffney 50-mile map and factsheet | Declaration of Standing
FAQs about Legal Declaration of Standing | BREDL Membership Form
May 2008 Factsheet: New Nuclear Power Plants
in South Carolina? - Duke Energy has applied to the US
Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a license to build and operate
two nuclear plants on the Broad River near Gaffney, South
Carolina. The deadline for comments on
environmental impacts of a nuclear power plant on this
areas air, water, and public health is May 20, 2008.