Citizens Intervene To Halt Sequoyah Plant Relicensing

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Local activists and citizens groups filed a legal petition on Monday against the Sequoyah Plant with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. They called upon the agency to deny a license extension for the aging nuclear plant, listing eight specific safety and environmental reasons for denial.

Stewart Horn, president of BEST-MATRR, a local opposition group filing the petition, said, “Their application is sorely lacking.” Referring to continual whistleblower complaints, he added, ”We are not sure of TVA’s ability to manage in the future without endangering residents.”

The petition details the increasing danger from Sequoyah to nearly a million people living and working within 50 miles of the plant.  A major finding shows that during the last 14 years, incident reports average 7.14 problems per year, but for the last six years the trend indicates increasing numbers of safety-related incidents, both in frequency and severity.

“We contend that the ice-condenser design, especially at an aging nuclear plant, exposes citizens to the most risk of any nuclear reactor ever built.  As age problems mount and we apply lessons learned from Fukushima, it’s prudent to decommission Sequoyah as soon as possible rather than allowing a license extension,” said Lou Zeller, executive director of Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League. 

BREDL research shows that citizens in Hamilton, McMinn, Monroe and Marion counties within 50 miles of Sequoyah have higher cancer death rates than Tennessee state average in most years. 

“Our knowledge of the real risks of nuclear power has increased exponentially since these reactors were designed and first licensed.  The massive amounts of radiation they create are a regional threat.  Radiation from Fukushima caused the long-term evacuation of 160,000 people and contamination of over 11,000 square miles of land for hundreds of years.  TVA needs to close these reactors before we suffer a similar tragedy,” said Don Safer, Tennessee Environmental Council board chairman. 

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League with its local chapter Bellefonte Efficiency & Sustainability Team and subset Mothers Against Tennessee River Radiation (BEST/MATRR) filed the petition.  TVA and the NRC now have 25 days to reply.  After that, a hearing on the intervention could be ordered by the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board.


Deputy Beaten After Vehicle Crashes In His Yard Sues Officers

A man who was mistakenly beaten by officers who had been pursuing a pickup truck that crashed into his home has sued Hamilton County and the officers for $700,000. Aaron Lucas Shelton and his wife, Heather Nicole Shelton, filed the suit in Circuit Court. Aaron Shelton is himself a deputy sheriff. It names Curtis Brian Killingsworth and unknown officers who allegedly took part ... (click for more)

Meigs County Judge To Hear Attorney Spanking Case

A Meigs County judge has been assigned to hear a case in which a Lookout Mountain attorney is charged with spanking his 11-year-old son with 100 hits. Judges in Hamilton County General Sessions Court recused themselves after Morgan Adams was charged with aggravated child abuse last Friday. He is due in court on April 24. According to the complaint, his son received spanks ... (click for more)

We Ought To Pay Our Own Way

The government is too big. It has never been bigger - by any measure. It spends more money than any other single actor in our society. From Blue Rhinos to providing telecommunications services, our government knows no bounds. We’ve gone from a free enterprise system to a public enterprise system.  I'm not an artist. I'm not terribly tech savvy. The part of government that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Secret Train Ride

It was during Christmas of 2003 when Bennett Levin and his wife found themselves talking and worrying about the wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed Military Hospital in Bethesda, Md., and at the nearby Bethesda Naval Hospital. Their wish was that they could do something meaningful, something really grand, for the soldiers who had lost limbs, their eyesight, and far worse. As ... (click for more)

Central Boys Prevail Over Loudon By 12, Despite Redskins' Late Rally

Central coach Rick Rogers said that all he wanted to do was win and advance. His District 6-AA champion Purple Pounders played host to District 5-AA fourth-place finisher Loudon on Saturday evening and it probably shouldn't have been close. But someone forgot to tell the visiting Redskins. Central had a 13-point lead at halftime and the difference was 52-30 when the third ... (click for more)

Baylor Wrestlers Murphy, Seagraves in National Prep Semis

On the strength of placing two wrestlers in Saturday morning's championship semis, Baylor School is in 11th place (46 pts) at the National Prep Wrestling Championship held this weekend in Lehigh, Pa. Saturday Semis: Baylor junior and three-time state champ Michael Murphy has won three matches (two falls, one sudden death) and meets top seeded Matthew Colodzik (Blair Academy) ... (click for more)