Musician questions nuclear plant
Ray Benson concerned on how reactors would effect Guadalupe River
October 22, 2008 – 10:54 p.m.
Grammy Award winner Ray Benson from Austin will sing in radio spots questioning the use of water by a proposed nuclear plant.
Benson, known as the guitarist and singer for Asleep at the Wheel, joined the Texans for a Sound Energy Policy Alliance in urging residents to question how two nuclear reactors would affect the future of the Guadalupe River Basin, an Alliance news release stated.
“Water is the life blood of each one of us, our families and our future. We all depend on it,” Benson said via the release. “A proposed Exelon nuclear power plant near Victoria will create a water shortage that will forever change the river.”
Exelon Nuclear submitted its combined license application to build and operate two nuclear reactors 12 miles south of Victoria to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in September.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority agreed to supply Exelon with 75,000 acre-feet per year from the Guadalupe River.
Some of Benson’s radio announcements point out that’s more than seven times the amount of water the city of Victoria uses every year.
The water use by a nuclear plant would affect Texans beyond Victoria County, Alliance director John Figer said. Communities all along the Guadalupe River have a stake and that’s why the announcements will play in communities up and down the river.
“The more people learn about Exelon’s plans and the implications to our area’s water supply, the more red flags are raised,” Figer said.
But the Exelon project falls well within the means of the available water supply, Lamarriol Smith, GBRA manager of communications and education, said.
The projected industrial needs for the Victoria area is only 11,198 acre-feet by the year 2060, according to Region L plans, Smith said.
“Economically speaking, if you do not use the available water in this region for the Exelon plant, what other industries have identified the Victoria area for their major projects?” she asked.
More than 40,926 acre-feet would still reach the bays and estuaries by 2060, even after Exelon and all projected Victoria needs are met, Smith said.
The Alliance hired hydrologists and engineers to conduct independent studies to see just how much water would be available and at what price, Figer said.
To learn more about Texans for a Sound Energy Policy Alliance or to hear the radio announcements, visit http://www.speakupvictoria.com
A typical nuclear plant supplies 740,000 homes with electricity, which averages using 20 to 26 gallons of water per household per day in a wet cooling tower system. The average U.S. household of three people consumes 315 gallons of water per day.
Source: Nuclear Energy Institute
One acre-foot of water equals 325,851.4 gallons, meaning Exelon’s agreement equals 24 billion gallons per year.
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