C.C. reader. ([Middletown, Pa.]) 1973-1982, December 06, 1982, Image 8

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    Technical and human questions plag
`TMI" from page 1
speakers for and against the
restart of TMI Unit 1.
Altogether, about 1,000 people
attended the hearing, armed
with petitions, statistics, per
sonal comments, and insights.
Representing a cross-section of
the community, each represen
tative spoke for three minutes.
James Hurst, Treasurer and
Board Member of the Mid
dletown organization called
PANE—People Against Nuclear
Energy—spoke against the
restart.
He said that there were still
too many "unanswered ques
tions" Middletown residents
have about TMI. He added,
"One hundred and thirty days
of NRC hearings cannot be in
terpreted as having resolved
questions of credibility and in
tegrity."
Speaking to the Capitol
Times, Hurst said that he truly
believes the NRC will act in a
conscientious way, but their
decision depends on a great
deal of factors, including
economic, psychological and
political issues.
In addressing the issue of
economics, Hurst said, "they
(NRC) will have to take
economics into considera
tion...one has to assume a pret
ty strong influence of money is
there in their decision."
Another financial considera
tion the NRC will have to con
tend with is whether restarting
Unit 1 will actually help pay for
the clean-up of Unit 2.
By the most recent reports,
the clean-up at TMI can be ac
complished by 1987,f0r an
estimated 1.0 to 1.5 billion
dollars.
n Hurst's opinion, the monies
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generated from Unit 1 will not
be enough to pay for the clean
up costs.
"It may help provide a small
amount of money, but not near
ly enough," Hurst said, adding:
"there is no way GPU will
realize the money from the
restart of Unit 1."
"Furthermore, all GPU's
assessments are based on the
assumption that once started,
Unit 1 will work properly
without a hitch. After three
and-a-half years of being idle,
this seems unlikely," he said.
Hurst stressed, "there is only
one entity in this country that
has the money and resources to
clean up Unit 2 and that's the
United States government...and
if GPU defaults that would be
the only organization that could
or would take any serious
clean-up commitment."
On the other hand, Doug
Badell, Manager of Com
munication Services of GPU at
TMI, said "we never envisioned
that the restart would pay for
the clean-up of Unit 2, just a
portion of it."
Badell added, "restarting
Unit 1 would strengthen the
company's economic position so
that it will be able to establish
and regain some capital and
power in the marketplace."
In January, GPU will be
meeting with their financial
backers to ensure that monies
will continue to be available
under their current revolving
loan agreement.
Although James Hurst of
PANE believes GPU is rushing
to have the 1979 shut down
orders lifted so as to have some
type of clout at that meeting,
GPU's Doug Badell said that
their financial backing has
already been pretty well
established and agreed upon.
"We don't expect any pro-
itettse ire
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blems with our revolving bank
loan," Badell said. "We are
pretty sure that our credit will
be renewed."
There is one other hotly
debated financial issue surroun
ding the TMI controver
sy—TMl's employees.
Represented by the organiza
tion called Friends and Family
of TMI, about 2,000 employees
of TMI face the possibility of
losing their jobs if Unit 1 does
not restart soon.
As Doug Badell put it, "Three
Mile Island has a strong
economic presence in the
area."
Looking at the technical
issues, the NRC must also be
convinced that Unit 1 is
technically ready to restart and
has met all the qualifications
required under the shut down
orders.
' Hurst explained that many of
the previously required
technical qualifications on Unit
1 are not now required by the
NRC. Because of this, Hurst
believes Unit 1 is not technical
ly ready for restart.
Hurst's sentiments were
backed by Robert Pollard, a
nuclear safety engineer with
the Union of Concerned Scien
tists and a former NRC project
manager.
Pollard felt this Friday's
deadline was set too soon to
really assess the qualifications
of Unit 1.
"The only reason they're
rushing is to bend over
backwards to help GPU," said
Pollard. "Nobody on the NRC
staff has the slightest intention
of holding up restart,
regardless of the consequences
for public safety."
GPU spokesman, Doug
Badell, contradicted Pollard's
assessment, saying, "based on
the NRC requirements and
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technical qualifications, Unit 1
is technically ready.
"We have put over 50 million
dollars of modifications into
repairing and modifying Unit
I...based on what we've learned
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from the accident."
At the recent NRC hearing,
Joseph Hoffman, president of
Friends and Family of TMI,
reported those same statistics
and said that historically Unit . 1
is safe and that people "have
created an atmosphere of
alarm and panic out of all pro
portion to their number and
their knowledge."
However, Jamas Hurst
believes the NRC will have to
vote against the restart of Unit
1, because the public has been
so clearly against restart.
"At the hearing there were 42
speakers against restart, while
there were only 10 for," he said.
"Also, the message not to start
d`t't l
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