Local News

Wake Residents Fight Extending Nuclear Plant's License

Posted July 17, 2007

— Neighbors concerned about the safety of the Shearon Harris nuclear plant in Wake County are fighting plans to keep the plant running far into the future.

Progress Energy has begun the lengthy process to extend the plant's federal license. The company wants to continuing operating the plant in Wake County until 2046.

Some residents of the area around the plant have formed several public-interest groups to fight those plans. Those groups filed a petition with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2006 to try to get Shearon Harris shut down.

Attorneys for Progress Energy and for the public-interest groups presented their cases at a public hearing Tuesday night.

Attorneys for the public-interest groups said that the plant has a history of fire-safety violations and an outdated evacuation plan. Residents also said that the plant is responsible for rising cancer rates in the area.

Plant officials said that Shearon Harris has always been in full compliance with safety standards.

The Shearon Harris nuclear plant generates electricity for 1.5 million Progress Energy customers in the Carolinas.


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  • troywilson Jul 18, 2007

    If cancer rates are rising why are they still living there (regadless of the reason)? They complain, but I do not see an alternative power source offered and what impact it may have on the environment (and those in it).
    Fire safety and an evacuation plan are scraping the bottom of the barrel. As a General Contractor the Fire Dept. gives me grief over an extinguisher being a few feet out of Code so these violations cannot be too major or the FD should have shut them down (the FD is as responsible as SH since they enforce Code). A new evacuation plan can easily be implemented (if this is a problem where is the FD).

  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Jul 18, 2007

    "Storage is being built for nuclear waste, it is almost complete, to be buried deep under a mountain, I forget which state in the west at the moment."

    New Mexico.

  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Jul 18, 2007

    Bet they all have the A/C running full tilt right now!

  • seeingthru Jul 18, 2007

    I used to work there. It is safe. Yes extend the permit and build that second unit this area needs power to fuel growth whether you like it or not. Or would you all like to go back to keroseme lamps, candles, no running water, cooking over wood etc?

  • Joshua Jul 18, 2007

    I'm all for cleaner more resposible energy. I would rather have a nucler facility in my backyard anyday over a coal burning power plant. If SH is shut down, where do you think we're going to get our electricity? It certainly won't fall from the sky. (Yes, I know, you think we can replace it with solar energy and wind turbines, but face it, do you know how many acres it would take to create as much energy as Shearon Harris?) Well, I don't either, but I would guess hundreds of acres. And where will Raleigh get all that acreage? Dix campus. But the city coucil would never approve something that unsightly.
    Shearon Harris gets my 2 thumbs up!!

  • silver Jul 18, 2007

    These people just want to think they have control of everything. Someone is always unhappy and think the world is about them.

  • icy148 Jul 18, 2007

    "Residents also said that the plant is responsible for rising cancer rates in the area." Sounds a lot like Chicken Little... Where do these people get their information from? I'd feel stupid opening my mouth about something like this unless I had some significant independent studies to quote from... And if so, hand me a protest sign, until then, shut the heck up.

  • weasleyes Jul 18, 2007

    Years ago, I worked with a consulting engineering firm One of our employees was a PHD in civil engineering, and was considered one of the world's foremost experts on seismic effects on nuclear power plants. He said if he even THOUGHT there was a chance for an earthquake in this area, he would pound on the doors at Harris Plant, begging to be let in. He also said that you get more radiation from a coast-to-coast airline flight than you would by living an entire year in a nuclear plant.

  • Americanpatriot Jul 18, 2007

    HEY! there is nothing wrong with the Shearon Harris at all!
    do you know how many accidents there are in coal mines every year and how complicated the process is. The Shearon Harris plant is perfectly safe and is a brilliant idea; I should know, i have been there.Those people knew that the plant was there and moved in anyway, they're like the folks who live near the airport and complain about the airplane noise!!!!! IT'S SOOOO STUPID. THEY NEED TO STOP.

  • smcallah Jul 18, 2007


    Storage is being built for nuclear waste, it is almost complete, to be buried deep under a mountain, I forget which state in the west at the moment. Transport of this waste is very safe, the containers it is transported have been tested again and again, there are videos you can see of these tests where the containers are hit by trains, exploded, all kinds of things that are unlikely and likely to happen, and they do not rupture.

    Newer reactors, like the 2 they want to build at the Harris site are capable of using some of what is now called "waste." We could even go back and use waste that has been stored away.

    There is no reason to abandon nuclear power when we need it most. Especially when it is doing no harm. Fear of nuclear reactors is irrational. This is not Soviet Russia, we do not have aging power plants that were not kept up waiting to explode with no safety features.