Anti-nuke groups challenge Bellefonte permit

Anti-nuke groups challenge Bellefonte permit

May 14th, 2009 in Local Regional News

Three anti-nuclear groups said today they have filed a legal challenge to the reinstatement of a construction permit for the Bellefonte Nuclear Power plant.

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, the Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission failed to follow its own guidelines in restoring a construction permit for units 1 and 2 at the Bellefonte plant in Hollywood, Ala.

Sandra Kurtz, a Chattanooga environmental leader and a member of the Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team, said the NRC "got the cart before the horse" in reinstating the construction permit before verifying the condition of the plant.

"Contrary to their own procedural requirements, they're handing out construction permits for reactors on a 40-year-old gutted plant site before new reactor designs have been approved and before environmental impacts have been determined," she said.

The NRC voted 3-1 in March to reinstate a construction permit for Bellefonte. But the permit was granted only for a "terminated" plant and must be upgraded before construction could be resumed.

The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will decide whether to conduct a hearing on the objections filed to the NRC decision.

TVA is considering finishing the original reactors at Bellefonte, as well as building new Westinghouse AP-1000 reactors at the site.