Look at Southern Company’s safety performance –SO CEO Fanning

SO CEO Fanning on Fukushima At last year’s Southern Company Stockholder Meeting, Southern Company CEO Thomas A. Fanning said about the U.S. nuclear industry and Southern Company’s safety performance:

And if you look at our performance, we absolutely meet the standards that our customers expect and frankly deserve. So let’s start there.

Since then SO has not managed to pour the concrete base correctly at Plant Vogtle and not managed to get a reactor vessel from Savannah port to the site. Also existing Vogtle Unit 1 had a fire while Unit 2 was shut down for almost all of March 2013. The two Plant Hatch reactors, same design as Fukushima, so far as we know still have substandard fire protection and has a chronic problem of radioactive tritium leaking into groundwater. Tritium, even the smallest amounts of which can have negative health effects. And what gets into the watershed spreads in the watershed. The U.S. nuclear industry in general has problems with alcohol, drugs, and broken equipment. But back to SO CEO Fanning about Fukushima:

Now let’s go to Fukushima, and our decision to move forward with Plant Vogtle. Fukushima was a tragic event. The United States nuclear power industry offered assistance. We have learned everything we can learn about the unfortunate circumstances that occured there. And we are applying those learnings here, as we apply learnings from anywhere that we think can improve our own performance. That is a characteristic of the nuclear industry in the United States.

Since then Plant Vogtle is about a billion dollars over budget and 19 months late. That’s still not as bad as last time SO built nukes at Plant Vogtle, when they were 26 times overbudget per reactor. But it’s bad enough, when you consider Google already spent less and got almost as much power from wind and solar.

Former NRC Chair Jaczko says all 104 operating U.S. power stations are unsafe and need to be shut down. That includes keeping San Onofre shut down. And that means we shouldn’t be building more at Plant Vogtle.


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  1. Pingback: Dear SO: Time to move beyond coal –Sierra Club | On the LAKE front

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