The amazing pattern of overwhelming support for nuclear among people who live next door to reactors continued last week at public hearings in Texas and New Jersey.
In Bay City, Texas a raucous crowed voiced nearly unanimous support for construction of the South Texas 2 and 3 projects before a public hearing by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“We need these jobs,” Carolyn Thames, a member of the Bay City Council told NRC panelists. “We love STP!” she concluded, to loud applause. The only opponents were a representative of Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen and the anti-nuclear SEED Coalition who traveled all the way from Austin to argue the plant isn’t needed.
The South Texas Project, headed by NRG, is a finalist for federal loan guarantees.
Meanwhile, in Salem County, New Jersey local business and political expressed support for PSE&G’s plans to file for permission to build a third reactor to join Salem Units 1 and 2.
“With unemployment in the county hovering at about 12 percent, the economic possibilities of the plant cannot be overstated,” said Salem County Freeholder Bruce Bobbitt, echoing a theme sounded constantly at nuclear hearings. The utility company is already the largest private employer in Salem County.
Why is it that people who are most rabidly opposed to nuclear reactors usually have very little first-hand experience with them?