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Arizona nuclear power plant facing safety hearing


The Arizona Corporation Commission will hold a public hearing with operators of the nation’s largest nuclear power plant to assess safety procedures in the wake of Japan’s nuclear catastrophe.

The triple-reactor Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station is located in Wintersburg, about 50 miles west of downtown Phoenix.

Palo Verde supplies electricity to about 4 million customers in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission also plans to review the safety procedures at Palo Verde and at other U.S. nuclear plants because of the situation in Japan.

Arizona Corporation commissioner Bob Stump suggested the public hearing and it’s been agreed to by the other four commissioners although a date for the session hasn’t been set.

Stump sent a letter on Thursday to Arizona Public Service Co.’s Chief Nuclear Officer Randy Edington requesting a briefing on the plant the utility company operates on behalf of six other owners.

“The meeting gives us an opportunity to review them in light of the tragedy in Japan,” Stump told The Arizona Republic.

Workers in Japan have been struggling to cool down units at a nuclear-power plant 150 miles north of Tokyo that was damaged by last week’s earthquake and tsunami. The units are leaking radiation.

“Some Arizonans have expressed concerns about their health and safety in the event of a disaster, given Palo Verde’s proximity to locations where so many people live and work,” Stump wrote.

Stump’s letter outlines a number of questions he has about the plant’s operation, including what safety procedures would be implemented if a natural disaster struck Palo Verde and how often the plant conducts emergency-procedure drills.

Stump also wanted to learn about Palo Verde’s backup power systems.

Problems arose at the Dai-ichi plant in Japan after a loss of power prevented its reactors from being safely shut down.

APS spokesman Jim McDonald said the company welcomed the opportunity to discuss plant safety with the commission.

“We want to answer any questions they have and want them to understand our commitment to safety and operational excellence,” McDonald said.

Edington recently briefed Arizona legislators on the plant’s safety procedures and the differences between Palo Verde and the stricken plant in Japan, according to McDonald.

He said Palo Verde’s containment domes that prevent radiation from leaking into the atmosphere are significantly stronger than those at the Japanese plant and the Wintersburg area isn’t prone to earthquakes.

“I am a strong proponent of nuclear power and I believe nuclear continues to be an absolutely essential component in a productive and reliable energy portfolio,” Stump said. “Yet I believe it is critical that we revisit our own emergency procedures as new information and potential lessons emerge from this heartbreaking disaster in Japan.


Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


  1. I think they should shut down all nuclear power plants. Where does the nuclear waste go to? Thats what I want to know.. They ship it off to other countries, which is wrong, or they dump it in the ocean, which they will deny. Then the oceans will die and then we will die. Every thing we eat and drink is now poisoned. Genetically modified foods,like Monsanto is making, soy, which is poison, they’re giving it to cows, pigs and slathering it on vegetables and fruits an we are eating it, so it is in our milk and fruit juice. Why isn’t our government stopping this?

  2. Bob Stump and his fellow Commissioners are acting proactively by having a hearing on Palo Verde safety. Detailed attention should be paid to cooling capacity since PV is the only nuclear power facility in the world that is not on a major body of water. The hearing should also be held in Tucson…with over 1M people downwind (most of the time), this community also needs a clear understanding.

    How can the Capitol Times readers seem slides of Edington’s briefing to the legislators?

  3. Linda: The answer is BECAUSE YOUR GOVERNMENT WANTS YOU DEAD!! Research the new world order and the UN’s (which Mr. Downing supports!) Agenda 21. Google “UN Agenda 21 depopulation.” The UN has a plan for the 21st century (hence the name) to “cull” (kill, murder, wipe out) 5/6 of the world’s population, all in the name of “saving mother earth.” Our so-called “leaders” are actually practitioners of an occult religion called Luciferianism — they worship Lucifer, a name for Satan before he fell. They have NO QUALMS ABOUT MURDERING PEOPLE.

  4. What Does the Crisis at Fukushima Daiichi Mean for Nuclear Power Generation in Arizona?

    The disaster in Japan (which one expert labeled “a lot worse” than Three Mile Island but “much less” than Chernobyl) has re-ignited concerns in the U.S. about the safety of nuclear power and spawned a federal review of the 104 nuclear reactors across the country.

    Those concerns extend to Arizona and the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, about 50 miles west of Phoenix. Palo Verde has three of the nation’s 104 nuclear reactors, and is the nation’s largest power generator (of any kind, nuclear or other). The electricity Palo Verde generates is delivered to 4 million customers in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas.

    Clean and Safe Energy Coalition co-chair Christine Todd Whitman wrote in an op-ed that a ban on all future nuclear energy investments and a shutdown of currently-operating U.S. nuclear power plants would be “unwise” and “unrealistic.” Nuclear energy provides 20% of the nation’s power, and 70% of our carbon-free power – we can’t shut off that tap (and expect to replace the power supply) quickly.

    But I think it’s important not to focus on that aspect right now, because it sounds like we’re sacrificing safety for necessity – and I don’t think that’s being done at all. Leave the “Where would we get our power without nuclear generation?” conversation for another day. Instead let’s focus on reassuring the understandably-uneasy American public about the safety of U.S. nuclear facilities – and proving to people what the companies running those plants are doing (differently today than last month) to keep them operating safely.


  5. Nuclear power is safe and reliable dont worry.

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