Local News

Group seeks to block Shearon Harris expansion

Posted August 5, 2008 11:51 a.m. EDT
Updated August 8, 2008 10:12 a.m. EDT

— A watchdog group has filed a motion with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in an effort to stop Progress Energy Inc. from expanding its Shearon Harris nuclear plant in southwest Wake County.

Progress Energy wants to add two reactors at Shearon Harris, a move backed by Wake County officials.

In its motion, NC WARN cited design problems with the nuclear reactor Progress Energy wants to use, safety and security issues at the plant and the utility's cost estimates, which the group says are overly conservative. The group also said Progress Energy didn't analyze risks and the water needs of the proposed expansion as required by law.

“Many politicians have leaped to support Progress’ plans without even looking at the costs and benefits. We’re urging genuine leaders to look into the list of problems with this project, insist that Progress Energy answer all the tough questions," NC WARN director Jim Warren said in a statement.

Progress Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission declined to comment on the motion.

Recently, the Wake County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution supporting Progress Energy, saying the additional reactors would mean 500,000 new customers by 2026 and bring $2 million in tax revenue.