Fukushima disaster anniversary protest to rally for an end to nuclear power in San Antonio

By Newsmonger
San Antonio Current

Plans to double the 1,080-megawatt nuclear-power complex in Matagorda County responsible for a full third of greater San Antonio's power fell through after ballooning cost estimates gave way to internal bickering and lawsuits, but some local residents want the city to withdraw from pending applications to extend the operating licenses of the two-reactor South Texas Project and fully divest itself from what they consider an "unforgiving" power source.

And as the world recognizes the one-year anniversary of the multi-plant meltdown and hydrogen explosions in Japan at Fukushima, nuclear opponents will be on the street this Saturday night making their case in front of the federal building and CPS Energy offices.

"It looks like at this point no one has died [in Fukushima] and we're very grateful for that. We don't know what will happen down the road because a lot of people were exposed to radiation," said Cindy Wheeler, spokesperson for the organization Energía Mía. "It has pretty much wiped out the farmland around Fukushima for many, many years. They're saying decades. My personal feeling is it's going to be more than decades. ... It's been disastrous."

Unit 2 at STP has been offline for several months as crews work to replace a rotor in the main generator, it's this sort of maintenance issue that opponents use to suggest that the plants should be retired by the end of their current licenses – not extended to serve until nearly 2050 as federal relicensing would allow.

But Buddy Eller, spokesperson from STP, told the Current he's confident in the plant's three emergency safety systems that include "locomotive-sized" diesel generators in flood-proof concrete bunkers will be able to keep STP functioning in safety in any emergency going forward into the coming decades.

Here's the Energía Mía press release:

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – Calling for an end to the use of nuclear energy by City Public Service (CPS) and a new vision for energy production using renewable geothermal, solar, and wind sources, Energía Mía or My Energy, will stage a vigil to mark the first anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan on Saturday, March 10, 2012. Energía Mía, a grassroots organization, will meet at the Federal Building at 727 E. Cesar Chavez and walk from there to the downtown offices of City Public Service (CPS) at 145 Navarro St. The event is being organized by the Energía Mía coalition of groups interested in energy choices. Those attending will be urged to wear white, carry luminàrias, and hand out leaflets.

WHO: Energía Mía and coalition groups
WHAT: Vigil to mark the 1-year anniversary of the nuclear energy accident in Fukushima, Japan
WHEN: Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 6:30 pm
WHERE: Federal Building on 727 E. Cesar Chavez to the City Public Service offices at 145 Navarro St.
VISUALS: Those marking the nuclear disaster will wear white and carry luminárias and signs

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