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Nuclear Plant Protest

August 11th, 2009 by flanews

For the first time in 33 years, the state cabinet approved plans to build a nuclear power plant. The plant would be built in Levy County, but as Whitney Ray tells us, opponents of the project say the whole state will pay a price in the nuclear plant comes to fruition.

They came concerned about their health.

“Don’t poison us. Don’t poison Florida. Don’t nuke this state,” said Russell McSpadden, a concerned citizen.

the environment,

“I am very concerned about the wetland impact,” said Lake Worth City Commissioner Cara Jennings

And their pocketbooks,

“You’re primary responsibility is not to protect the profits of private utility enterprises,” said green party member Michael King.

But their concerns didn’t sway a single vote. The Governor and state cabinet approved plans to build the first nuclear power plant in Florida since 1976. Progress Energy will own the plant. Its president says the new plant will help Florida skirt a future energy shortage and reduce coal use.

“This will help decrease our dependence on fossil fuel and it will reduce our carbon intensity, our greenhouse gas intensity over time,” said Progress Energy President Jeff Lyash.

The new nuclear plant is expected to generate more electricity that two coal plants in that area and once it’s up and running Progress Energy plans to shut the coal plants down. Governor Charlie Crist said nuclear is just part of the answer to solving the state’s energy problems.

“I think we need a broad array of diversity in our energy production in Florida that should include solar, wind, nuclear, wave energy generation, all of the above,” said Crist.

About a dozen protestors fed-up with the cabinet’s decision stood in front of capitol carrying signs, promising to stop the plant at all costs. The plant still needs approval from the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The commission is expected to have a decision by 2011. If approved, Progress Energy says the nuclear plant will begin operations in 2019.

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