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Supporters and opponents of proposed Levy County nuclear plants turn out for public hearing

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Supporters and opponents of Progress Energy’s two proposed nuclear power reactors in Levy County turned out for a public hearing last Thursday in Crystal River.  The hearing was before a three-judge panel of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, the judicial arm of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  The hearing was a result of a legal challenge to Progress Energy’s license application from three environmental groups over how much water the plants will need to pump for cooling towers.  Last Friday we heard from two of the people who spoke at the hearing.  Today we’ll from two others who voiced their opinions before the judges.

One of the supporters of the plan to construct the two reactors is Levy County Commissioner, Ryan Bell. He talked with Florida’s 89.1, WUFT-FM’s Donna Green-Townsend about why he thinks Progress Energy is a good neighbor which could improve the economy there by providing more jobs and electric power to the area.

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Levy County Commissioner, Ryan Bell.  Also speaking at the hearing in Crystal River was the President of the Citrus County Council which represents 19 homeowner and environmental groups.  Group president Theodora Rusnak told the panel of judges the proposed Levy county nuclear facility is “the wrong plant, at the wrong place being paid for in the wrong way.”  Rusnak also spoke with Florida’s 89.1, WUFT-FM’s Donna Green-Townsend:

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to complete an environmental impact statement this spring.  The public can give written comments on the proposal through the fall.  The cost for the new plant is expected to be between 17 and 22 billion dollars.  With license approval, the construction could start in 2021.

Additional interviews:

The Executive Director of the Citrus Couny Economic Development Council, John Siefert:

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Concerned citizen, Tana Silva from Gainesville:

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About Donna Green-Townsend

Donna is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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