Nuclear America: Georgia Mayor Says Japan Nuke Catastrophe Can't Happen Here

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One year ago, President Obama announced that the federal government would guarantee $8 billion in new federal loans to build two nuclear reactors in Georgia. The recession-hit town of Waynesboro, Georgia was to benefit from the construction, as new jobs were created. But as Japan's nuclear disaster continues to unfold, some of those who live near the 104 nuclear reactors scattered throughout the United States are growing nervous, while others say there's nothing to fear.

Waynesboro mayor, George Deloach says his constituents are keeping calm and remembering the upside of nuclear plants: job growth. 

"We're eighty percent agricultural," Deloach told The Takeaway. "The farmer doesn't have a good year every year." Deloach says around 26 percent of Waynesboro residents are employed in nuclear energy and that he doesn't fear any parallels to the situation in Japan. 

Robert Hernan, author of "This Borrowed Earth: Lessons from the Fifteen Worst Environmental Disasters Around the World" says that although this reactor is safe from a tsunami and an earthquake, there are still risks associated with nuclear power.


Mayor George Deloach and Robert Emmet Hernan

Produced by:

Noel King

Comments [2] from Marietta, GA

The mayor's statements seem like they are trying to defend a position more than defending the facts. No one in their right mind would make such a blanket statement without qualifications. There are always risks and we need to be honest about it.

Mar. 15 2011 04:50 PM
Peg from Ithaca NY

Still not discussed are the exorbitant expenses associated with nuclear power.

Expensive to build - the nuclear corporations do not have enough capital to acquire the loans- so the US tax payer backs them up.

The nuclear industry is not responsible for paying for disaster cleanup - the tax payer takes care of that.

We still haven't figured out how to store spent fuel rods - but we'll be paying for it when we finally do.

We have to pay for dismantling old reactors and guarding the facilities for thousands of years....

Really - wouldn't it be more economical to invest in cheaper, cleaner alternative solutions? If we had started 30 years ago, we wouldn't be having these worries today.

And yes, a renewable energy future is possible - It's only impossible if you believe the energy companies.

Mar. 15 2011 09:37 AM

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