NRC releases report on potential uranium enrichment plant in Wilmington

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Submitted: Fri, 05/11/2012 - 3:35am
Updated: Fri, 05/11/2012 - 1:05pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The public got the chance Thursday night to hear more about a proposed uranium enrichment plant to be built at the GE Hitachi plant in Wilmington.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission presented its report on the safety and economic impact. Representatives with the NRC say they used a critical process to evaluate everything from transportation to air quality impacts.

“Particulate matter, concentrations, mostly resulting from fugitive dust emissions are expected to exceed the standards but would be of short duration,” NRC Project Manager Jennifer Davis said.

The NRC says programs would need to be in place to safeguard against environmental risks.

“We need an environmental program that will minimize releases, that will track and record releases,” NRC Project Manager on Licensing Tim Johnson said.

Enriching uranium with lasers could make it cheaper to fuel nuclear power plants that generate electricity.

Tom Clements, with the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, doesn’t support a license for the plant. He says with this new technology there needs to be a more rigorous process of evaluating potential dangers.

“Anytime you’re handling uranium like that, there’s a proliferation risk associated with it and if there was a nuclear reaction, that’s one of the biggest risks of these kinds of plants,” Clements said.

For or against the uranium plant, Clements says the community should be asking the tough questions and pushing for more thorough evaluations.

“We think people should be asking for proliferation assessment to be done before there’s further consideration for a license for this new technology,” Clements said.

The NRC said the potential plant poses no serious threat.

A decision to approve or disapprove the plant’s license request will be made in August. If it passes, the license could be approved as early as September.


  • Justin America says:

    The concentrations shouldn’t last long? Serenity now. Serenity now. Serenity now… etc.

  • Beach Bum says:

    Clearly this is good for the Wilmington region. Brings jobs and investors to region. Not to mention, we keep potentially weapons grade materials out of the hands of potential terrorist or enemies of the United States.

    Alliance for Nuclear Accountability does not have any staff that have any experience in the nuclear power industry. Be wary of any information disseminated by their group or Tom Clements. Tom Clements experience is with forestry and mining, not nuclear power. They are trying to play to the hearts and minds of people through biased subjective reporting instead of distributing unbiased facts.

    Same antics WWAY’s Scott Pickey, the Stop Titan movement, Rick Wilson and several others in the Wilmington area use.

    Yellow Jorunalism at it’s finest.

  • jj says:

    Where are all the Triden people at? Are you not going to protest this? “Particulate matter, concentrations, mostly resulting from fugitive dust emissions are expected to exceed the standards but would be of short duration,” I would think this would effect more people if there was an issue and they are telling you up front they will be in valations of standards.

    I know GE employees a lot of you and you might lose your job.. or is it GE has a lot more money to fight you..

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