”That thing was greased,” as they say in Chicago, referring to a political phenomenon known as “being handled before table.” Well, bloggers are asking, was it? Word now coming out reveals just two days after Secretary of State Brian Kemp gave Barack Obama the green light to appear on Georgia election ballots,, the Department of Energy awarded Kemp’s state an eye popping $8.3 billion loan guarantee to begin construction on two nuclear plants. In the face of “a shocking dissent by Nuclear Regulatory Commission CHAIRMAN Director Gregory B. Jazcko,” four other commissioners approved awarding Southern Energy the first nuclear construction licenses since 1978, just one year before the tragedy of the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster put a hold on new U.S. nuclear plant construction. No new licenses have been approved until this huge Vogtle project got its go ahead to build two new reactors near Augusta.
“Jazcko said that the approved designs did not take the lessons of Fukushima into account. I cannot support issuing this license as if Fukushima never happened,” he told other NRC members before their shocking vote to approve this estimated $14 billion project. Friends of the Earth’s climate and energy project Director Damon Moglen is vowing to challenge the validity of the newly approved license in court. “The license may be granted, but these reactors are far from a done deal,” he said. Applications for 16 other plants looking to build 25 more reactors are on file with the NRC according to CNN Money reporter Steve Hargreaves , who added, “there are two applications submitted for brand new nuclear plants-one in Levy County, FL, and another outside Gaffney, S.C.”
While other viable nuclear construction projects await approval, the Georgia project got the green light in spite of the NRC director’s vehement objection as well as “12 sizeable construction change order requests (and) long-running site-specific design and fabrication problems (which) have confounded Westinghouse and its lead contractor for more than two years.”
So on February 7, 2012, Georgia Secretary of State Kemp stated “after careful consideration of Administrative Law Judge Michael Malihi’s initial decision and all record evidence based on the criteria set forth in this process, I find that the Respondent, President Barack Obama, meets the State of Georgia’s eligibility requirements.” And a scant two days later, Obama’s DOE finds the money to award Kemp’s state a whopping $8.3 billion loan guarantee for a $14 billion nuclear project and license approvals not done in the industry in over 30 years!
One blogger said after the Malihi story, “This crap needs to end–NOW!!!” Another blogger who tipped me off about the Malihi-Nuclear decision connection mused, “The fix was in long before this challenge was ever submitted.”
Note: The Vogtle nuclear site is located near Waynesboro, GA, according to Wikipedia.