Groups Dispute TVA Cost Figures

Guest Blog | December 16, 2008 | Press Releases

Knoxville, Tenn. (December 16, 2008) – Today citizens’ groups announced new cost arguments in their lawsuit against nuclear power at Tennessee Valley Authority’s Bellefonte site. The December 15th filing charges that TVA provided inaccurate cost information in its environmental report. In an 18-page request to the three-judge licensing board, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, the Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy charged that TVA violated the National Environmental Policy Act.
The petition states that TVA’s cost estimates and comparisons are grossly inaccurate for four reasons: 1) TVA failed to include the full range of costs for nuclear power, 2) TVA made apples-to-oranges comparisons with coal- and gas-fired options,
3) TVA improperly selected nuclear as the best available option, and 4) TVA excluded reasonable alternatives for getting electricity at lower cost. Under the law TVA must compare the impacts of nuclear power at Bellefonte with available alternatives. The comparison must include construction costs and the costs of power delivered to customers.
Louis Zeller, the League’s Science Director, said, “TVA’s failure to estimate costs accurately spells trouble for its customers in seven states.” He continued, “We’ve been through enough bailouts already; let’s not continue the nuclear one.”
Dr. Ross McCluney, a member of the Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team, said, “Considering the wave of energy efficiency technology and the clean renewable energy sources on the horizon, a nuclear plant at Bellefonte would be obsolete before it generated the first watt of power. To continue pushing for nuclear power in the U.S. just makes no sense.” Dr. McCluney is a research physicist for SunPine Consulting in Chattanooga and a retired Principal Research Scientist at the University of Central Florida.
TVA and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff have ten days to respond to the groups’ petition. Earlier this year TVA requested a license to build two new reactors at its Bellefonte site in northern Alabama. The League, BEST and SACE intervened in June and the NRC held a hearing in Scottsboro in July. The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will hold further hearings on four of the groups’ legal arguments. # # # Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization thatpromotes responsible energy choices that create global warmingsolutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughoutthe Southeast.