Fresno Nuclear Power Plan

August 19, 2008 8:42:49 PM PDT
Supporters of a plan to build a nuclear power plant in Fresno have now partnered with a water district hit hard by drought. The Fresno Nuclear Energy Group wants to buy idle land in the Westlands Water District.The Fresno Nuclear Energy Group has ignored a current state ban on new nuclear power plants. The land it seeks was taken out of production eight years ago.

The plan calls for the pumping of graywater from the Fresno waste-water treatment facility to cool a nuclear power plant located between Mendota and Kettleman City. John Hutson and the Fresno Nuclear Energy group has entered into an agreement to buy 500 acres in the Westlands Water District.

John Hutson, Fresno Nuclear Energy Group: "For California there couldn't be a better place. Seismically, air, water, there couldn't be a better place."

The group is eyeing land which was idled in 2000 because of its high salt content. Westlands would welcome a nuclear power plant.

Sarah Woolf, Westlands Water District: "It would provide the cheap energy that would allow us to do desalinization of some of our drainage water so it could be a real win-win for the district."

The agreement calls for a feasibility study to see if a nuclear project is possible. The plan has seen a great deal of opposition though.

Protestors were escorted out of a nuclear power presentation in Fresno in February of 2007.

California law has banned the building of nuclear power plants until the federal government finds a way to deal with nuclear waste. Hutson says a company in France holds the key.

John Hutson: "We think the best way to deal with spent fuel is to recycle it. We've talked with Ariva and they've said they would take our spent fuel. They recycle 96-percent of spent fuel."

Westlands says the plan would produce a more reliable source of water.

Sarah Woolf: "The ability to clean up water that currently doesn't have a source of cleaning it and re-using it. In these times of drought we need to be utilizing every last drop."

A specific 500-acre site has not yet been identified for the project. Westlands has a total of 100-thousand acres of idle land.

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