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Wake Residents Fight Extending Nuclear Plant's License

Several public-interest groups are fighting Progress Energy's plans to keep operating Shearon Harris nuclear plant for decades.

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WAKE — 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Attorneys for the public-interest groups said that the plant has a history of fire-safety violations and an outdated evacuation plan.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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