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.


Corker Laments Obama's "Failed Presidency" On Foreign Policy

During a hearing on the conflict in Syria, Senator Bob Corker accused the Obama administration of a “failed presidency” on foreign policy after repeated refusal to take steps that could have alleviated humanitarian suffering and deterred the Assad regime’s targeting of civilians. The latest U.S. attempt to broker a ceasefire collapsed after Russian forces were accused ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ABERNATHY, GAVIN TREMYNE  613 CLARK STREET ATHENS, 37303  Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County CONTEMPT OF COURT --- ATKINSON, JANISHA SHOLONTA  3210 BROAD STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37410  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County THEFT OF ... (click for more)

Jimmy Templeton Will Be Missed At The City Yards

If only we had known about the Chattanooga City Council's planned retirement send off for Jimmy Templeton of Public Works, the room would have been filled to overflowing with his friends and admirers - including me.   I have had the honor of knowing and working with Jimmy since the 1970's (and also knew his father "Big Jim").  Jimmy was a strong right hand for whoever ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vin Scully’s Last Time

It is said that the opening paragraph of my favorite ode to baseball should be the centerpiece for the canon of sports literature. It was written by former commissioner Bart Giamatti in "The Green Fields of the Mind,” a most marvelous essay to the last day of the regular season in the major leagues. “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Beats Red Bank On Senior Night

It was Senior Night at Signal Mountain on Wednesday as the Lady Eagles played their last regular-season volleyball match at home before they host next week’s District 7-AA tournament and all went pretty much as planned. It was a battle of regular-season district champions as the 6-AA queen Red Bank Lionettes provided the opposition for the 7-AA winning Lady Eagles. Signal ... (click for more)

Hamilton Heights Announces 2016-17 Hoops Slate

Hamilton Heights Christian Academy released its 2016-17 varsity boys’ basketball schedule on Thursday. The Hawks will participate in 13 events around the country, including the prestigious Chick-Fil-A Classic in Columbus, S.C., the Marshall County Hoopfest in Ky., and the Flyin’ To The Hoops Classic in Dayton, Ohio.  Locally, the Hamilton Heights squad will host ... (click for more)