Plans to Build Nuclear Power Plant in Fresno County
FRESNO, California (KFSN) -- Nearly three years ago a group of Fresno investors announced their intent to build a nuclear power plant in the Central Valley, despite a statewide moratorium on building such plants that has been in place since 1976. It would have to be overturned for any new nuclear plant could be built anywhere in California.
None the less, the Fresno Nuclear Energy Group now has a French company ready to get the ball rolling in Fresno County. They are looking to build that plant on the Valley's Westside which is now home to thousands of acres of farmland out of production due to water quality. The group's new partner, AREVA, Inc. has a long track record in Europe and is developing one in the U.S. AREVA's Michael Rencheck told us the moratorium doesn't mean the Fresno Clean Energy Park can't be built now, "We don't have to start with nuclear, we can start with solar, and we can start with development and creation of jobs in Fresno County. We can start with the plans for being able to create a clean water supplies, clean water sources for the farmers."
Members of the Fresno County business community also heard about the plan to bring jobs, technology and round the clock power to the Valley at luncheon where the head of the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation, Steve Giel, says now is the time to act, "Our state can not stick its head in the sand and not deal with the issues the rest of the world is utilizing."
California has just two nuclear plants producing power both on the coast: in San Onofre in southern California and north at Diablo Canyon near Avila beach. The Fresno Clean Energy Park would include the nuclear plant along with solar and desalination plants to increase clean water for farming.
Critics believe it would add to the pollution problems and is inherently unsafe but those who want to build it say it's a much needed and trustworthy addition to the state's power resources, "Jacques Besnainou, Areva Inc., It's very safe. The safety record for this industry for the last twenty years is impeccable around the world. Available 24-seven."
Fresno Nuclear Energy Group member B.B. Blevins added "I think this state's gonna have to seriously consider nuclear power as a component of the future electrical system of California."
The Obama administration supports the building of new nuclear plants in the U.S. The Fresno Nuclear Energy Group and its new partners believe Central California is the place to re-energize nuclear power in America. The AREVA company representatives say the construction phase of this nuclear power plant will generate as many as 10-thousand jobs and once operating it retain 4-to-7-hundred permanent jobs.
energy, fresno county, business, nancy osborne
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