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to develop affordable, reliable and safe now electricity supply options, and that our economy can continue to grow without Seabrook.
Richard J. Bolbrock, Planning Director of the New England Power Pool, in a follow-up letter to the hearing, conceded that although it was not his preference, Massachusetts could meet its power needs without Seabrook. He stated, "Massachusetts' future demand for electricity could probably be met through demand management and power from nonnuclear sources albeit at a higher cost to both Massachusetts and New England users of electricity."
I do not even accept the claim that these alternatives would result in a higher cost to New England and Massachusetts users of electricity. If Seabrook goes on line it will produce very expensive electricity, probably at over 20 cents per kilowatt-hour. If Seabrook never goes on line, most New England ratepayers might be freed from paying "imprudently" incurred construction costs, and will be spared from paying any operating and decommissioning costs. Power from new cogeneration and small power production facilities, on the other hand, usually ranges between 6 and 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. Conservation programs can
save electricity at even less cost per kwh.
The Seabrook plant, then, may be
far more expensive for many New England ratepayers than development of alternatives.
It is important when considering what to do with the Seabrook plant to
place the plant's projected out put in the proper perspective. Seabrook's proposed maximum output of 1150 MW represents only about 5% of NEPOOL's total generating capacity. If the plant operates at 75% of capacity--an optimistic estimate--it will represent less than 4% of total NEPOOL capacity. Without additions to
the power pool, NEPOOL projects a capacity deficit by 1990 whether or not Seabrook
goes on line.
Without Seabrook, the shortfall is merely moved up one year.
or without Seabrook, the region must develop new supply options, and there are enough alternatives to achieve the region's needs without Seabrook. If
utillties and regulators aggressively pursue least cost alternatives now, the
region will maintain an adequate electricity supply in the future.
For example, Connecticut utilities have received proposals for about 800
MW of new cogeneration. Similarly, Maine utilities signed contracts for approximatel;
700 MW of new cogeneration and small power production in 1985.
utilities such as Maine Public Service Company have been able to sell off all
of their Seabrook and oil-fired obligacions at a loss and still save their ratepayers
In short, New England has the capacity to meet its energy needs without
We should not be fooled by the nay-sayers who predict gloom-and-doom for
the region in the event that Seabrook does not operace.
A strong, viable New
England economy is dependent upon a reliable, diverse energy supply delivered
at the lowest possible cost.
The Seabrook plant does not meet these criteria.
Proposed Seabrook power can be replaced.
Therefore, we can meet out energy
needs without Seabrook, and no one needs to be exposed to the risks and costs
that are associated with the plant.
Mr. MARKEY. The Chair now welcomes the State Senator from the Merrimac Valley Area, who has been a key player in this issue now for almost a decade, and someone to whom we have looked for guidance in the construction of this hearing.
We want right now to publicly thank you very much for your cooperation and your guidance and your leadership on the issue.
At this time, I would like to introduce the Honorable Nicholas Costello, State Senator and Chairman of the State Energy Committee.
Senator COSTELLO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
TESTIMONY OF NICHOLAS J. COSTELLO Mr. COSTELLO. Thank you, Chairman Markey.
Congressman Markey, Congressman Mavroules, Congressman Atkins, and Congressman Smith.
For the record, I am Nicholas J. Costello, and I represent the Third Essex District. Five of the six communities within the 10mile evacuation zone lie within that district.
For over 10 years, I have worked to understand the reality of Seabrook. I have done so because of my own interest and because of the requests and concerns of my constituents.
This experience and responsibility has convinced me that the Seabrook site should never be allowed to operate as a nuclear power plant, and I am confident that the residents of this area, and particularly in Massachusetts overwhelmingly agree with that analysis.
The Seabrook plant represents an environmental and a public safety risk of extraordinary and unacceptable proportions. In the event of an accident, successful evacuation of residents would be impossible. Issues of cleanup and a relocation of residents after an accident remain unaddressed.
Plans for the decommissioning of the plant after its 35-year lifespan and for the long-term storage of the hazardous wastes it will produce have not been decided. What Seabrook offers is an expensive energy at an enormous risk.
In more detail, I would like to share with you today a safety issue of increasing concern to me involving reports of irregularities and errors in recores, inspections, and plans for the physical plant itself.
Last month, the steadily increasing body of evidence led Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine legislators to create a triState coalition whose purpose it is is to win an independent investigation of the design and the construction of the Seabrook facility.
I hope that this Committee will join us in that effort to win such a Commission.
In the past, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has ordered independent investigations into nuclear power plants. Twice so far, these investigations have resulted in the conversion of unsafe plants to fossil fuel-burning facilities. This should happen at Seabrook.
First, because the employees of the plant are now coming forward with the assistance of an organization called the Employees Legal Project, with testimony and sworn affidavits which detail
workmanship inadequacies and design deficiencies. Such charges include deficient safety systems, back-up systems that are overtaxed.
Other allegations cite severe welding negligence, increasing the stress on pipes and welds. Reports have also been collected which describe bad welds which were covered up or ignored rather than redone.
It has also been stated that often pipes would not line up properly and sledgehammers were used to force them together. Also, that inspections, though ordered, were not carried out and that favorite workers had their work approved without review.
Second, the issue of drug and alcohol abuse among workers deserves scrutiny. For 10 years, because of my work on the Seabrook issue and my involvement with the issue of substance abuse, people have been coming to me telling me of their own and others' drinking and drug use during the construction phase of this plant. Public records are now being explored, thanks to this committee, and thanks to you, Chairman Markey, for your diligence in this area, to disseminate the extent of this problem which has certainly led to improper and sometimes unperformed work.
Third, there are issues to investigate involving construction and design which bring into question the plant's safety and ability to withstand an accident.
An issue of recent attention on this point concerns whether or not the plant's design drawings are consistent with the plant's actual construction. If not, safety tests already conducted are in error. A third party, uncommitted to the plant's economic future, should confirm whether these findings are true or not.
For these reasons and more, I hope that this Committee will lead the federal effort for an independent investigation of the design and construction of the Seabrook plant.
To accomplish this purpose before low-level testing is in place, would be most appropriate.
I would also ask this Committee to examine the infeasibility of Massachusetts' evacuation plans, and to realize that any plans submitted by the Seabrook owners would be equally fallible.
The location of the Seabrook plant is its ultimate Achilles' heel. As long as public safety is a priority, the Seabrook site is impossible to accept. The utility itself has acknowledged this, in its attempt to reduce the 10-mile emergency planning zone to a 2-mile zone.
Approval of such a proposal would give the Seabrook's owners more control over the process of evacuation planning.
In effect, it would amputate Massachusetts. While we would lose input in the evacuation planning and commitment process, we would still suffer the consequences of a nuclear accident.
Clearly, there is no justification for the reduction of the current 10-mile emergency planning zone; and, in fact, there is strong argument for increasing it.
In the current session of the Massachusetts Legislature testimony was presented to the Energy Committee which led us to put out a favorable report on a bill to expand the Massachusetts emergency planning zones to a 40-mile area.
In addition, a 1982 Federal Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation Report estimated that 7,000 deaths from a Seabrook meltdown could occur within a 20-mile radius and 27,000 radioactive injuries would be possible within a 65-mile radius.
In the recent Chernobyl accident residents were evacuated within an 18.5-mile radius. For these and other reasons, the 2-mile emergency planning zone would clearly violate the rights and threaten the lives of my constituents.
In conclusion, I would like to state that in my position as Senate Energy Chairman, I have examined Massachusetts' energy future, and I am convinced that we could survive and prosper without this or any other nuclear power plant.
It is time for us to be responsible. It is time for us to take the foresight that is needed; and it is time for us to shut the door on the Seabrook power plant once and for all.
Thank you again.
Our next witness is the Honorable Beverly Hollingworth, State Representative from Hampton, New Hampshire, a long-time participant in all of these deliberations. We welcome you and we look forward to your contribution.
Please move the microphone up a little bit closer, and try to restrict your opening remarks to five minutes.
TESTIMONY OF BEVERLY HOLLINGWORTH Ms. HOLLINGWORTH. Thank you for allowing me to come here today to testify before you.
My name is Beverly Hollingworth. Is the microphone on?
Ms. HOLLINGWORTH. My name is Beverly Hollingworth. I am a New Hampshire State Representative from New Hampshire, representing Hampton and Hampton Falls District 17. I own and operate a small motel at Hampton Beach. Until three years ago I owned one of the larger hotel/motel complexes at Hampton Beach, in the Hampton Beach area.
I am a recent past president of the Hampton Beach Area Chamber of Commerce representing several hundred businesses in the seacoast, in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Prior to being elected president of the Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce, I represented the Chamber as the intervenor before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the licensing process. I
My family and I reside in Hampton, New Hampshire, about one mile and a half from the Seabrook Station. My place of business is two miles from Seabrook Station.
I was born and raised and lived, and have raised my children within what is now commonly referred to as the Ten Mile Evacuation Zone.
I have been elected to four terms as a State Representative in great part because of my strong opposition to Public Service Company and the Seabrook Station, and because the rights of those citizens most affected are being totally disregarded by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.