Front Porch Blog

Duke Power: New nuclear plant slated for Cherokee County, SC

Duke Power has selected a site in Cherokee County, S.C. for a nuclear plant application, with reportedly more applications to come in South Carolina and North Carolina.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Power has selected a site in Cherokee County, S.C., for a potential new nuclear power plant. Duke Power also announced it has entered into an agreement with Southern Company to evaluate potential plant construction at this jointly owned location..blockqut.

Other area sites are being considered…

In addition to selecting the Cherokee County location for a COL application, Duke Power is considering the preparation of early site permit (ESP) applications for locations in Oconee County, S.C., and Davie County, N.C. Early site permits enable companies to complete environmental and site suitability reviews, and obtain approval from the NRC for potential nuclear plant sites in advance of requesting a license to build and operate a plant.

“We identified multiple sites in our service territory as good locations for a possible new station,” said Brew Barron, Duke Power chief nuclear officer. “We appreciate the positive support for nuclear generation we received from communities in North Carolina and South Carolina, as well as state and local organizations.”

Well, I think we would agree that not everybody gives them positive support. I grew up right across the Tennessee River from two enormous reactors, so I always have to laugh when people think that windmills are eyesores!!!


(…its nice to be the one who chooses the pictures for once. 🙂 )

I am going to speak on my own personal behalf, on why I oppose more nuclear development, particualrly so close to home.

Later in my life, my family moved down the river a few miles. We moved into a cabin my father built on the Tennessee River in the middle of the woods. You could see stars in every direction until you looked South, where you would see a Mordor-ish like red glow all night. This is an annoyance, yes, but it seems that those are unavoidable when producing energy, and would hardly be reason to oppose a safe, abundant alternative to coal.

But then there is the waste.
Who wants nuclear waste?…


This stuff has to be transported from whereever it is (in my case, Tennessee) to a place called Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

Many states are looking to outlaw the transportation of waste through their state.

Three Fourths of Nevadans oppose the Yucca waste site, and for good reason.

From the Southwest Research and Information Center

There are 33 known geologic faults at or in the near vicinity of the Yucca Mountain site. In the past 20 years, there have been over 600 recorded seismic events of Magnitude 2.5 or greater within 50 miles of the site, the largest of which was a Magnitude 5.6 earthquake in 1992, known as the Little Skull Mountain earthquake. It was centered about 8 miles from the site, causing damage to DOE’s Yucca Mountain project office at the Nevada Test Site (NTS).

So, there are the 33 faults. The largest of which, the Ghost Dance Fault, runs right through the site.

Then theres the volcanic activity.
The nearest volcano is only ten miles from Yucca.
By the DOE’s own estimation, a magma intrusion into Yucca mountian would cause between 1-in-10, to 1-in-3 nuclear containers to lose their waste material.

And, of course, Yucca is a sacred mountain for the Shoshone and Paiute Indians, where the government has already intrueded on their burial grounds and prayer rings.

Is this the best we can do? North Carolina has been called the Saudi Arabia of biomass. It has become conventional wisdom for statewide politicians to talk about collecting methane off of pig farms in the east.

Wind power is making a comeback here in the mountains. As is solar power.

There are clean, safe, abundant alternatives to nuclear. I do think that nuclear has its benefit over coal, but I think that as a society we are ready to begin taking steps to move beyond both. North Carolina just joined 39 states to allow net metering, which allows me to produce more energy than my home needs through solar, wind, or whatever, and actually put it back onto the electricity grid.

How nice would it be to get a big fat check from the power company each month? If we work for it…its the future.





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