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Squirming out of making Shearon Harris safe

By Audrey Schwankl
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007

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Pittsboro, NC - If you normally drive through the Pittsboro traffic circle on your way home from work, you may have seen my family and I and a few friends holding signs that say things like:

"Shearon Harris - Nuclear Power Plant ranks worst in 6 safety categories" or "Fix it or Nix it"

Let me tell you that controlling three small children, a stroller, kites, snacks, coats and a bunch of posters at the circle for an hour is fairly complicated. My family goes through this each month for one reason only. Shearon Harris is that dangerous.

This plant has been out of compliance with Federal fire regulations for fourteen years. Progress Energy wants nine more years to fix things.

Fire is a leading risk factor for nuclear meltdown. Terrorist attacks could lead to meltdown as well. Yes, perhaps the reactor building is hardened, but other vital parts of the plant, such as the fuel pools are much more vulnerable. In addition the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission decided in January that US plants will rely on fire mitigation instead of defense against air attacks. Remember... fire safety is not Shearon Harris' strong suit.

Nuclear safety must become a priority for Progress Energy, not just a corporate slogan. We in this comunity need to know about safety issues and insist on real safety, not just the appearance of it. I urge you to attend a public hearing on these issues at the Fearington barn on Thursday March 22nd at 7:00 PM. Find out what is being done and what we can do. Because while we work, shop and attend our kids' basketball games, those at Progress Energy are busy squirming out of making Shearon Harris safe, attempting to relicense the plant for the next 40 years, planning two new reactors and using their PR machine to keep us placated.

We're living in dreamland if we think we're safe.

See you at the traffic circle.

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