Nuclear reactors near here

If you think of nuclear reactors as something far away, or as much safer than Fukushima, you’re in for a surprise. The most notorious reactors are the ones not yet built, units 3 and 4 at Plant Vogtle near Augusta and their famous financial boondoggle. But others are closer, older, and more numerous than you may know.

Here’s a map by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

That map’s not clickable, so here’s a table, selected from an NRC table by distance from Valdosta:

Hatch 1 & 2* SNOC 11 miles N of Baxley, GA 100 miles
Farley 1 & 2SNOC 18 miles SE of Dothan, AL 125 miles
Crystal River 3 PGN 80 miles N of Tampa, FL 160 miles
Vogtle 1 & 2 SNOC 26 miles SE of Augusta, GA 200 miles
Summer SCEG 26 miles NW of Columbia, SC 300 miles
Saint Lucie 1 & 2 FPL 10 miles SE of Ft. Pierce, FL 325 miles
Oconee 1,2,3 Duke 30 miles W of Greenville, SC 330 miles
Robinson 2 PGN 26 miles NW of Florence, SC 350 miles
Sequoya 1 & 2 TVA 16 miles NE of Chattanooga, TN 360 miles
Catawba 1 & 2 Duke 18 miles S of Charlotte, NC 390 miles
McGuire 1 & 2 Duke 17 miles N of Charlotte, NC 410 miles
Browns Ferry 1,2,3* TVA 32 miles W of Huntsville, AL 410 miles
Turkey Point 3 & 4 FPL 20 miles S of Miami, FL 440 miles
Brunswick 1 & 2* PGN 40 miles S of Wilmington, NC 480 miles
Waterford 3 Entergy 25 miles W of New Orleans, LA 495 miles
Shearon Harris 1 PGN 20 miles SW of Raleigh, NC 498 miles
* GE Mark I; Duke: Duke Energy Power Company, LLC; Entergy: Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; FPL: Florida Power & Light Co.; PGN: Progress Energy; SCEG: South Carolina Electric & Gas Co.; SNOC: Southern Nuclear Operating Company; TVA: Tennessee Valley Authority

Five operating nuclear power reactors are closer to us Plant Hatch pictured than Plant Vogtle, all five within about 160 miles. For comparison, the Fukushima reactors are about 160 miles from Tokyo, where, according to Hiroko Tabuchi in the NYTimes 14 October 2011 Citizens’ Testing Finds 20 Hot Spots Around Tokyo,

Of the 132 areas tested, 22 were above 37,000 becquerels per square meter, the level at which zones were considered contaminated at Chernobyl.

Reactor diagram The Hatch reactors, about 100 miles from here, are GE Mark I, the same design as Fukushima. So are five other reactors (marked *) within 500 miles of here.

Not to worry, Southern Company has an emergency plan for Plant Hatch. For the ten-mile area nearby. With notification on radio in three nearby counties. Lowndes County? Nope, not in the plan.

The Hatch reactors were designed and licensed for 40 years. Plant Hatch Evacuation Zone According to Greg Land 8 July 2000, Plant Hatch relicensing draws fire,

Although the current 40-year licenses expire in 2014 and 2018, the NRC last month began holding hearings on the company’s request to extend the license another 20 years.

According to the NRC map, at least ten other reactors within 500 miles of here are 30-39 years old.

Within 500 miles of Valdosta, there are 32 operating nuclear power reactors. That’s approximate land miles. What really matters is air miles, since that’s the way the wind blows. Radioactivity from Chernobyl was first detected near Stockholm, about a thousand miles away.

Turkey Point near Miami, for example, is less than 500 miles from here. You may recall those reactors as the ones Ed Asner was talking about.

I usually write about the boondoogle economics of nuclear power, especially compared to the faster and less expensive economics of solar and wind power, because economics will be the end of nuclear and the cause of the quickening shift to renewable energy. But sometimes it’s worth mentioning the physical dangers of nuclear power. That’s not something far away. It’s quite near here.

You have an opportunity tomorrow, Tuesday, November 6th, to vote for Georgia Public Service Commissioners and legislators who can imagine solar power in south Georgia.


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  1. Pingback: Fire at Plant Vogtle | On the LAKE front

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