Terrorist Attack: The Perfect Precautionary Threat

By August 5, 2008Energy

Following up on yesterday’s Washington Post article, “Little Outcry on Nuclear Reactor Proposal, ” there is indeed some opposition. Just predictable, small and tedious opposition…

AP story in The Examiner:

SOLOMONS, Md. — An advocacy group says a third reactor at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant is unnecessary and dangerous.Members of the Chesapeake Safe Energy Coalition planned to testify at a hearing Monday by the Maryland Public Service Commission on plans for a third reactor at the plant in Lusby in southern Maryland. The commission has scheduled a series of hearings this month on the proposal by Constellation Energy Group.

Allison Fisher with Washington, DC-based Public Citizen says state approval would open the door to construction before the reactor design is fully scrutinized and licensed by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Opponents also plan to argue that a new plant would not be safe from a catastrophic accident or an attack by terrorists.

Unnecessary? From The Washington Post, “Threat of Power Shortages Generating New Urgency,” February 3, 2008:

Electric power has already become painfully expensive in Washington and its suburbs. Now, local utilities say, it could become something even worse: scarce.

With its humming data centers and air-conditioned mansions, the region is using 18 percent more electricity than in 2001. And as demand has gone up, so have prices. Some homeowners have seen their rates jump by half or more.

Utility and government officials say the region has to face the idea that its demand for electricity could overtake the supply. In a little more than three years, they say, lights could flicker off in rolling blackouts.

Don’t suppose a rolling blackout might pose any sort of public health/public safety risk…

And, look, nothing is SAFE from a terrorist attack. That’s sort of one of the points of terrorism. You can only minimize the risk and the consequences.

P.S. The original WaPo story about the Calvert Cliffs project referred to the deadly accident at Three Mile Island. The Post corrected the mistake today: “An Aug. 4 Metro article incorrectly described the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania. Although it was the most serious accident in the operating history of U.S. commercial nuclear plants, it led to no deaths or injuries to plant workers or the nearby community, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”

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