Illinois legislators should be outraged over Zion’s decommissioning

April 30, 2011

Zion Station consists of Two Modern Environmentally Clean, Safe, Lowest Cost Electricity Generation, 3 Loop 1000 + Megawatt Westinghouse Designed and Built, Operating Nuclear Fueled Pressured Water Reactor (PWR) Electricity Generating Plant, Located on Seismically Approved Ground.

As a Lake Bluff resident, who can view the Zion Plant from her town’s Sunrise Beach. I have been engaged in a continuing effort over 2-1/2 years to engage others, and especially legislators, to heed her call to refurbish and restart The Zion Station, with almost zero interest in acting to save Zion. 

With proper routine maintenance and upgrades, as happens to all machinery, both could be safely operated for a hundred years or more. 

Exelon has never explained WHY the two Nuclear Plants were unnecessarily and prematurely closed and placed in “safestore” in 1998 way before their time, WHEN these two Nuclear Plants while “OPERATING,” neither spewed radioactive particles into the air, nor leaked radioactive particles into Lake Michigan. 

Exelon refuses to this day to release its financial calculations as to its decision to shutter Zion Station in 1998, as well as two other financial calculations made, before Exelon transferred Zion to ZionSolutions for decommissioning on September 1, 2010. 

Also of importance is why Exelon Corporation never attempted to sell the Zion Plant to another party if Exelon was unable to operate Zion profitably?

The two Nuclear Plants were providing safe, environmentally clean, lowest cost electricity to the Electrical Grids, in a seismically approved location, not just to Northeast Illinois, helping to stabilize and possibly drive down the cost of electricity in rate payers monthly bills.   

Regarding nuclear waste, approved in 2002 by the United States Congress, the funding for the development of Yucca Mountain was terminated effective with the 2011 federal budget passed by Congress on April 13, 2011. This leaves the United States without any long term storage site for its high level radioactive waste. 

It is way past time for this nation to start reprocessing nuclear fuel like in France. The reprocessing of spent waste was rejected by President Jimmy Carter’s administration. In France, where 80% of that country’s electricity comes from nuclear power, the radioactive waste from their 59 reactors with over 30 years of operation is stored in a single room in Normandy.

Not unexpectedly, US anti-nuclear groups on Monday, April 4, 2011, condemned a plant roughly one-third finished on the Department of Energy’s Savannah River site to build a plant where plutonium from weapons would be reprocessed into fuel for nuclear power plants.

When will the Nuclear Energy fear-mongering end that once again reared its ugly head during the recent incident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex in March? It was the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan that destabilized the reactors and caused radiation leaks due to the destruction of backup reactor electric suppliers. 

The 2,226 spent fuel rods now in Zion’s cooling pool can withstand a tornado up to 360 miles per hour and missiles up to 4,000 pounds. Furthermore, Lake Michigan has never had a seisch (a wave) of more than 20 feet high. 

When will saner heads prevail to educate the American people about Nuclear Energy, instead of those in the print and broadcast media who have little or no knowledge about Nuclear Energy.

Enough with the “Pie in the Sky” dream that wind and solar power will ever become viable mass producers of energy!

These facts about Nuclear Power should be taught to every high school student in the U.S. 

1.  One Uranium Fuel Pellet, without being reprocessed and recycled, generates about as much energy as 3 Barrels of Oil (41 gallons each), 2 ton of Coal, or 17,000 cubic Feet of Natural Gas.

2.  Uranium-fueled electrical generating plants produce abundant, cheap, clean and safe energy. 

3.  About 20% of electricity in the U.S. comes from uranium fuel.

4.  We depend on electricity to manufacture goods and provide services that assure safety, healthy living and conveniences in modern life.

May legislators and those in the energy field wise up before it is too late. Others nations are investing in nuclear energy while this nation sits on the sidelines. Since the time of Admiral Rickover the Navy has had Nuclear Powered Submarines, Aircraft Carriers and Destroyers, all with a stellar record of safely. 

Power is what drives the engine of our economy. An ever increasing amount of energy will be required in future years to fuel economic growth and to sustain the quality of life for future generations. 

The Zion Station even now could be and should be refurbished and restarted, but time is running out.

Legislators should be outraged that Zion’s massive source of energy is scheduled to be wasted forever!

Nuclear Power is the way of the future. If this nation fails to act decisively and in a timely way, the decision-makers of today will reap the post-mortem blame for their shortsightedness and lack of common sense.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s