Local leaders meet with Rep. Price on Shearon Harris

Last Friday, delegates from six local government bodies met with Congressman David Price to discuss concerns about fire safety and related issues at the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant. Of particular focus was the concern that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has not been fulfilling its responsibility for regulatory enforcement. Since the chemical plant fire in Apex, safety questions at Shearon Harris have garnered increased local scrutiny as have uncertainties surrounding evacuation procedures.

In attendance were:
Mark Kleinschmidt, Chapel Hill Town Council
Randy Voller, Mayor of Pittsboro
Mike Nelson, Orange County Commission
Tom Vanderbeck, Chatham County Commission
Mike Gering, Hillsborough Board of Commissioners
Dan Coleman, Carrboro Board of Aldermen
[Jim Warren of NCWARN also attended as a resource]

In addition to the fire safety issue, the following areas were discussed:
-spent fuel storage
-adequacy of evacuation planning
-threats to nuclear facilities

After a frank and robust discussion, Congressman Price agreed to encourage a Government Accountability Office study of fire safety enforcement by the NRC.

Friday's meeting grew out of a March discussion at the Orange County Assembly of Governments. It was agreed that each of the four governments would identify a member to participate and that Chatham and Pittsboro would be invited to join in.

I believe this was a somewhat unprecedented level of cooperation among the six local governments participating, further underscoring the seriousness with which we view this issue.



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