, Newburyport, MA

October 27, 2012

Seabrook plant has multiple safety mechanisms

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the Editor:

I am writing in response to a recent letter (Tierney, Markey invaluable in nuke plant accountability) that appeared in the Oct. 23 Newburyport Daily News. While the writer is certainly entitled to her point of view, she omitted the fact that all operating nuclear plants have multiple, independent federal inspectors onsite every single day.

Further, if a license extension is granted by the federal government after rigorous safety and environmental reviews, the plant is subject to a number of additional inspections to ensure all safety standards continue to be met over the plant’s remaining life. Importantly, the NRC continues to maintain the authority to sanction any operator or shut down any plant should they find unacceptable conditions or practices — even if the license has been extended. This level of independent oversight makes nuclear plants among the most regulated facilities in America.

Finally, the writer asks whether Seabrook Station will be needed in the future considering the role renewable energy will play. NextEra Energy is the largest generator of energy from wind and solar in North America and we are profoundly aware of the value and potential of renewable energy. But the assertion that we won’t need Seabrook Station in the future because it can be totally replaced by renewables simply defies the realities of clean energy production. Seabrook is a safe, reliable part of our region’s energy mix and we are working to keep it that way for future generations.

Alan Griffith

Spokesman, NextEra Energy Seabrook Station