Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Three Mile Island’s Flawed Poll

Dear Editor: TMI-Alert, Inc. sharply disagrees with the results of a recent poll paid for and released by Exelon on September 8, 2008. At issue are the questions that were not asked. The poll also failed to note that a majority of the folks who actually testified before the NRC were against extending the license of TMI-1. When the community held a non-binding referendum on May 18, 1982, over 67% of the voters in Cumberland, Dauphin and Lebanon County opposed the restart of Three Mile Island. TMI and the NRC ignored the results. How many people would support nuclear power if you asked the following fact-based questions? 1) Did you know taxpayers and rate payers have spent $1 billion to remove the damaged fuel from TMI-2 since the reactor meltdown in 1979? The plant still needs to be cleaned up and decommissioned. Did you know Three Mile Island Unit-2 pays no taxes? Should TMI-2 be cleaned up before Exelon builds more nuclear reactors? 2) Did you know that Exelon has at least 11 full-time registered lobbyists working in Harrisburg as of July, 2008? (Pa. Department of State) Do you trust nuclear lobbyists to make energy policy for Pennsylvania? 3) Currently Exelon is recovering $5.5 billion in nuclear taxes on electric bills referred to as “Competitive Transition Costs” for overruns associated with construction of the Limerick nuclear power plant. Should Exelon refund the $5.5 billion to rate payers before building another nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania? 4) Three Mile Island has failed to include child care facilities in their Radiological Emergency Plans for the past 22 years. The NRC, FEMA, PEMA, and Governor Rendell refuse to adopt dedicated plans, designated transportation routes, or provide vehicles for these children. Should Exelon implement safety plans for kids before building another nuclear power plant? 5) TMI generates 30 metric tons of high level radioactive waste annually and there are over 1,000 tons of toxic garbage on site. Should Exelon remove nuclear garbage stored next to the Susquehanna River before we build more plants? 6) Did you know the enrichment of uranium releases massive amounts of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which are more damaging as a global warmer than carbon dioxide? Nuclear fuel production in America creates at least 800,000 pounds of CFCs annually, or 80% of all CFC’s released into the atmosphere by the USA. CFCs remain the primary agent for stratospheric ozone depletion. Do you still think nuclear power is "clean" and "green"? 7) There were 804 employees working at TMI prior to the purchase of the plant by Exelon. Now the number is 600, and the company has recently suffered from workers sleeping on the job. Should Exelon hire more workers before building another nuclear power plant? 8) Did you know TMI does not have to conserve water during periods of drought? Should new nuclear power plants be exempt from water conservation practices? Sincerely, Eric Joseph Epstein, Chairman Three Mile Island Alert, Inc. 4100 Hillsdale Road Harrisburg, PA 17112 (717)-541-11o1

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