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News :: Environment
Citizens Launch Group To Halt Nuclear Reactor On Chesapeake Bay
15 Jul 2009
Press Release--Concerned Marylanders from around the state have come together to launch People Against A Radioactive Chesapeake (PAARC). The grassroots citizens group brings together members from local anti-nuclear organizations: Southern Maryland CARES, the Crabshell Alliance, and the Chesapeake Safe Energy Coalition in an effort to halt construction of a Giant 1,710 Megawatt EXPERIMENTAL NUCLEAR REACTOR proposed for the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant on the Chesapeake Bay.
Nuclear Reactors Contaminate Air.bmp
The impetus for the formation of the PAARC grassroots citizens’ organization came from the recent State of Maryland Public Service Commission’s April 28 Proposed Order. The Proposed Order grants the application submitted by UniStar Nuclear Energy, LLC for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to construct a third nuclear reactor at Calvert Cliffs, ignoring substantiated appeals from local citizens concerned about the EXPERIMENTAL NUCLEAR REACTOR's impact to safety, human health and the health of the already dead and dying Chesapeake Bay.

UniStar Nuclear Energy, LLC is a proposed joint venture partnership between Maryland-based Constellation Energy and a 49.99 percent ownership by the Electricite de France (EDF). EDF is over 84 percent owned by the French state. The Constellation- EDF joint venture issue is currently unresolved.

PAARC protests the use of the Chesapeake Bay, protected under a recent Executive Order, as dumping grounds when there are other available methods of power generation that are far cleaner, safer, and environmentally sustainable.

Determined to stop the reactor in order to safeguard public and environmental health, on June 13, Marylanders from northern Maryland to the southern tip of Calvert County met with members of the Board of Directors from the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) to form People Against A Radioactive Chesapeake (PAARC).

On June 26, PAARC was named a Chapter Member of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, a non-profit organization based out of North Carolina with chapters in seven southern states.

According to BREDL Executive Director, Janet Marsh, “For twenty-five years the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League has worked with local groups to promote safe, renewable energy, to help protect the environment, and to create healthy communities. We are proud to welcome PAARC as our first Maryland chapter."

The reasons for PAARC’s opposition to the construction of Unit 3 at Calvert Cliffs are numerous. Cost projections of the new proposed reactor at Calvert Cliffs range from an estimated 10 billion dollars, with some nuclear experts estimating the eventual project cost at closer to 20 billion dollars. This EXPERIMENTAL REACTOR is backed by Federal Loan grants which are funded by our taxpayer monies. Such a costly method of electricity generation is a poor economic investment certain to eventually hit Maryland ratepayers in the pocketbook.

In addition to economics, the focus of newly formed PAARC group centers primarily on safety and public and environmental health issues. These include the impact of thermal, chemical, and radioactive emissions discharged directly into air and the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

Of particular concern to PAARC is the troubling total absence of air quality monitors in Calvert County that are necessary in order to measure the toxic and radioactive chemicals emitted into the air by the nuclear reactors at Calvert Cliffs. This fact – and the requests of citizens to conduct an investigation into high rates of cancers in Calvert County prior to approving the EXPERIMENTAL REACTOR were disregarded.

With eleven nuclear reactors that currently discharge into the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, PAARC Co-Founder Cindy Peil succinctly summarized PAARC’s reason for existence: “No dirty dozen!” Eleven nuclear reactors are discharging hot water containing toxic and radioactive chemicals into the Bay and its tributaries. Eleven reactors are absolutely eleven too many! The Bay’s fragile ecosystem already can not take the eleven reactors we’ve already got!

According to PAARC Co-Founder and Coordinator, Cathy Garger, “It’s not just Marylanders who would be adversely affected by further destruction of the Chesapeake Bay by this new reactor. The Bay actually belongs to nearly 16.8 million individuals in the District of Columbia, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia, all within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Millions of people from many states would be impacted by these harmful toxic and radioactive emissions into our air and water if this so-called “reference”or test EPR EXPERIMENTAL nuclear reactor is allowed to be built on the Bay. I can’t believe the State actually shuffled through this approval process, completely ignoring substantiated facts presented by citizens and blindly did as they were told and approved this UniStar monstrosity! Taking a cue from Governor O’Malley, who has publicly stated that nuclear expansion is our “moral imperative,” and, in particular, favors the use of “French nuclear technology,” the State has made a statement by endorsing this abomination for Marylanders and others in the Mid-Atlantic area and beyond to be used as guinea pigs, test subjects for this horrific nuclear experiment!”

Julia Clark, another PAARC founding member who lives in close proximity to Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant stated, “Forming PAARC was a crucial step in the fight against this proposed human and environmental injustice. We will be giving our all to protect the health of the Maryland people and save our beloved Chesapeake Bay from further radioactive contamination. PAARC will do what other organizations have failed to do… educate people about the irreparable damage being done to our health and Bay, and provide the true facts about the proposed third reactor at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant.”

This new EXPERIMENTAL proposed reactor – called the European Pressurised Reactor in Europe but renamed to sound more appealing as the “Evolutionary Power Reactor” in the US - is being engineered by the international nuclear giant, AREVA. Owned primarily by the French government, AREVA has engineered the EPR for use with fuel made with Bomb Grade Plutonium oxide, a type of nuclear fuel not approved for use within the United States.

People Against A Radioactive Chesapeake is planning on using all means necessary to protect the health of the Chesapeake Bay from the ravages of a double-sized experimental nuclear reactor dumping into the Bay and Maryland’s air. The survival of the Chesapeake Bay is in serious jeopardy. This proposed EXPERIMENTAL REACTOR will withdraw from 63 to 72 million gallons of water per day ON TOP of the 3.5 Billion gallons already withdrawn daily by the two current reactors! Furthermore, the enormous dead zone, which is an area hundreds of square miles during the summer, is an area so void of oxygen that roughly forty percent of the Bay can not support life.

On top of all these reasons, nuclear reactors also compete for our drinking water, to the point where the Aquia Aquifer is so depleted as to have enormously high levels of ARSENIC in private and public water wells in 7 counties on both Western and Eastern shore of the Bay. Yet the withdrawal of groundwater for the construction of this EXPERIMENTAL REACTOR amounts to an average withdrawal of up to 100,000 gallons of groundwater per day for eight years!

In summary, Maryland does not need an expensive, EXPERIMENTAL, dangerous, polluting Bomb-grade Plutonium-fueled nuclear reactor to defile our air, land, groundwater, and beloved Chesapeake Bay. PAARC plans to ensure, therefore, that the health of the Chesapeake Bay, our citizens, wildlife and environment are not further destroyed by the construction and operation of this disastrous proposed EXPERIMENTAL nuclear reactor at Calvert Cliffs.

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