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<v Richard Scott>New Jersey, three nuclear power plants are about to be joined by a fourth. <v Richard Scott>The Hope Creek reactor is scheduled to go online next year. <v Richard Scott>Its owners, Public Service Electric and Gas and Atlantic Electric, say Hope Creek <v Richard Scott>will provide economic and safe electricity for their customers. <v Richard Scott>But how safe and economical is nuclear power? <v Richard Scott>Critics of nuclear energy say its early promise of being an energy source that's too <v Richard Scott>cheap to meter has been a broken promise. <v Richard Scott>What does the future hold for nuclear energy in New Jersey and elsewhere? <v Richard Scott>Tonight, Larry Stuelpnagel begins his four part series, New Jersey Nukes The Broken <v Richard Scott>Promise. With a look at the costs of nuclear power. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>[Machinery noises] These fuel rod assemblies are some of the latest pieces to fit into <v Larry Stuelpnagel>place as the Hope Creek nuclear power plant prepares to go online next year. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>The plant is 99 percent complete. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Its cooling tower dominates the south Jersey skyline of lower Alleyways Creek in Salem <v Larry Stuelpnagel>County. At 512 feet the cooling tower for Hope Creek is the tallest structure
<v Larry Stuelpnagel>in New Jersey. But Hope Creek came with a high price tag, approximately 4 billion <v Larry Stuelpnagel>dollars. And the question now is, how do you pass that cost onto the ratepayers. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Next month, Hope Creeks', principal owner, Public Service Electric and Gas <v Larry Stuelpnagel>will ask the Board of Public Utilities for a record 750 million dollar rate hike <v Larry Stuelpnagel>that will help pay for the plant. <v Lawrence Codey>Well, the overall rate hike, we would expect that as part <v Lawrence Codey>of this filing we're going to make at the end of this year, they hope Kreig revenue <v Lawrence Codey>requirement would translate to an average of about a 15 percent increase <v Lawrence Codey>for customers. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>[Welding noises] That will spark a jump in the average consumer's electric bill, up from <v Larry Stuelpnagel>58 to 67 dollars a month in the summer and from 54 to 62 dollars <v Larry Stuelpnagel>a month in the winter. According to Codey, that 15 percent increase will be built in for <v Larry Stuelpnagel>the life of the plant, which is approximately 30 years. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>New Jersey's public advocate says that means expensive interest costs will also be passed <v Larry Stuelpnagel>on to the ratepayer. <v Alfred Slocum>They're saying the ratepayers will ultimately have to pay as much as twice as much
<v Alfred Slocum>as the actual cost of the nuclear facility. <v Alfred Slocum>And I'm not certain we want to put ourselves ou- in that pot because we're mortgaging <v Alfred Slocum>the future of our children as well as ourselves if we do that. <v Alfred Slocum>And that's a grave concern to me. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Another concern is the performance of PSE&G two other nuclear plants. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Between 1983 and last June, refueling a serious <v Larry Stuelpnagel>accident, a generator, fault control rod repairs and a mistake made during <v Larry Stuelpnagel>those repairs combined to keep the Salem Unit 1 nuclear power plant offline for <v Larry Stuelpnagel>367 days. Next door at Salem too, the problems were worse. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Refueling and condenser tubing, generator repairs followed by a generator failure <v Larry Stuelpnagel>and then a generator replacement and another mechanical failure added up to 595 <v Larry Stuelpnagel>days when the plant was off line. <v Corbin McNiell Jr.>Those problems were primarily caused by the massive generator failures <v Corbin McNiell Jr.>occurred at each one of those stations. <v Corbin McNiell Jr.>Those were beyond the control of the public service itself.
<v Corbin McNiell Jr.>They were equipment failures. <v Corbin McNiell Jr.>We're currently in litigation with the manufacturer of that equipment. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>At Jersey Central Power and Light Oyster Creek plant, what started out in 1982 <v Larry Stuelpnagel>as an 11 month outage for refueling and plant modifications turned into a 20 <v Larry Stuelpnagel>month shutdown when its operator, General Public Utilities, found more problems <v Larry Stuelpnagel>than it anticipated. <v Leonard Coleman>New Jersey's utilities have not performed well with regard to keeping nuclear <v Leonard Coleman>plants online. A national average would be somewhere between 60 and 65 <v Leonard Coleman>percent. Our statewide averages hovering a good 10 percent <v Leonard Coleman>below that national average. So that truthfully, we hav- our <v Leonard Coleman>utilities have not done a good job in that area. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>And when those plants are not operating, the utility has to buy electricity from other <v Larry Stuelpnagel>sources and customers are asked to pay for those expensive replacement power costs. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>When the Salem plants are down, PSE&G spends an average of 10 million dollars a month <v Larry Stuelpnagel>for replacement power. Just last summer, the BPU approved a 137 <v Larry Stuelpnagel>million dollar rate hike to pay for the problems at PSE&G's plants.
<v Corbin McNiell Jr.>They should be operating at a higher level. <v Corbin McNiell Jr.>The nuclear industry, all of the nuclear utilities in the country have set a goal for <v Corbin McNiell Jr.>themselves of 70 percent capacity factor by 1990. <v Corbin McNiell Jr.>The public service, we've set our sights a little higher than that and we're trying to <v Corbin McNiell Jr.>achieve by that time frame an 80 percent capacity factor on our units. <v Alfred Slocum>When I was a child, my mother used to admonish us as children that a promise made is <v Alfred Slocum>a promise kept. And to the extent that the utilities had made <v Alfred Slocum>a promise to the ratepayers that they can provide cheap electricity <v Alfred Slocum>as a consequence of nuclear power plants. <v Alfred Slocum>I'm in no way persuaded that that promise has been kept. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Salem Unit 1 last month set a national record by running 278 straight days <v Larry Stuelpnagel>at 99 percent capacity. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>However, Unit 2 continues to have problems. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>It's run at 49 percent capacity so far this year. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Oyster Creek has enjoyed its best year in 6 years before it was shut down for <v Larry Stuelpnagel>modifications in October, it had run at 74 percent capacity. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Tomorrow night, we'll look at the history of nuclear energy and a proposal to make it
<v Larry Stuelpnagel>less costly to the consumer. <v Kent Manahan>According to the state energy commissioner, New Jersey, three nuclear power plants have <v Kent Manahan>performed poorly, costing consumers millions of dollars when they were shut down. <v Kent Manahan>Industry spokesmen say when the plants are running, they save ratepayers millions. <v Kent Manahan>Just how did we get started in this controversial form of producing electricity? <v Kent Manahan>And how can the plants be made to operate more effectively? <v Kent Manahan>Those are some of the issues that Larry Stuelpnagel examines tonight in his series, New <v Kent Manahan>Jersey Nukes: The Broken Promise? <v Larry Stuelpnagel>One time things were looking up for nuclear energy. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Thirty years ago, we were fascinated with the atom. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>And TV stations like KTLA in Los Angeles covered atomic bomb tests live. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>[News reporter talking] <v News Reporter>And it is with the most out of words that we pay tribute to this fearsome creature <v News Reporter>that we sincerely hope will be used only in a peaceful effort and not <v News Reporter>in other ways. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>That search for a peaceful use of the atom was strongly supported by the federal <v Larry Stuelpnagel>government. The commercial nuclear industry would have had a hard time getting started
<v Larry Stuelpnagel>without the help of some friends in high places. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>In 1953, that friend lived here at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and Dwight <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Eisenhower's program was Atoms for Peace. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>[Applause] The president launched the plan in this speech at the United Nations. <v Dwight Eisenhower>The United States knows that peaceful power from atomic energy <v Dwight Eisenhower>is no dream of the future. <v Dwight Eisenhower>That capability already proved is here now, today. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>One federal official said years ago nuclear energy would generate electricity that would <v Larry Stuelpnagel>be too cheap to meter. But history shows most plants are built either behind schedule <v Larry Stuelpnagel>over budget or both, producing red ink before a watt of power is even generated. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Work at New Jersey's 4 billion dollar new plant, Oak Creek is ahead of schedule, but <v Larry Stuelpnagel>almost 100 million dollars over budget. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>The state's oldest operating plant, Oyster Creek, was 26 months behind schedule and <v Larry Stuelpnagel>20 million dollars over budget when it went online in 1969 and <v Larry Stuelpnagel>its Lacey Township neighbor, JCP Annells for Good River Nuclear Plant, was canceled
<v Larry Stuelpnagel>in April 1980 midway through construction. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>After 450 million dollars had already been invested. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Costs like those all contribute to skyrocketing electricity bills. <v Robert Williams>Over the last decade in the state of New Jersey, for example, the average price <v Robert Williams>of residential electricity corrected for inflation went up about 50 percent since <v Robert Williams>1972, before the first oil shock, the average industrial <v Robert Williams>price of electricity doubled since 1972. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>And customers already paying for a nuclear plant and increased base rates <v Larry Stuelpnagel>are then asked to pay again in replacement power costs when a plant is shut down. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Just last summer, a 137 million dollar PSE&G rate hike was <v Larry Stuelpnagel>approved by the Board of Public Utilities. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>The state energy commissioner says New Jersey utilities have not done a good job keeping <v Larry Stuelpnagel>their plants online. To improve that, he is proposing a carrot and stick approach to <v Larry Stuelpnagel>rate increases. Companies would be rewarded when their nuclear plants operate <v Larry Stuelpnagel>at or above the national average of 65 percent capacity, but penalized
<v Larry Stuelpnagel>for poor performance. <v Leonard Coleman>If you do not keep the plant online, then <v Leonard Coleman>utility should be penalized for not doing so. <v Leonard Coleman>And the rate at all those rates not passed on to a ratepayer. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Why is the system like that in place right now? <v Leonard Coleman>Just traditionally, it has not been utility practice, <v Leonard Coleman>regulatory practice to do so. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>But utilities and their regulators disagree on an acceptable operating level for the <v Larry Stuelpnagel>state's nuclear plans. <v Lawrence Codey>I would think something above 65, as <v Lawrence Codey>in terms of a standard, should be where you start to get <v Lawrence Codey>an incentive payment uh for performance and there probably should be a dead <v Lawrence Codey>band, perhaps maybe between 55 and 65. <v Lawrence Codey>That that's kind of where you should be. <v Alfred Slocum>Oh, I think that's too low. <v Alfred Slocum>I think 55 percent capacity is too low. <v Alfred Slocum>We ought to go back and find out what kind of need was established and say, okay, are
<v Alfred Slocum>you meeting the need that you said you would meet? <v Alfred Slocum>If you're not meeting it, then you're ineffective and the rate may- payers shouldn't be <v Alfred Slocum>responsible for that. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>[Stuelpnagel and Curran talking] In the middle of the debate is the president of the Board <v Larry Stuelpnagel>of Public Utilities, Barbara Curran, <v Barabara Curran>55 to 65 percent is basically national average. <v Barabara Curran>We have looked at trying to set a number in stone. <v Barabara Curran>Very tough to do, Larry. <v Barabara Curran>But would that be a consideration for the board in future cases? <v Barabara Curran>Absolutely. Would that be a consideration in regard to Hope Creek? <v Barabara Curran>Absolutely. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>But don't expect a performance level to be established in the near future, even if the <v Larry Stuelpnagel>issue is raised next month in the Hope Creek base rate case, there is still the matter of <v Larry Stuelpnagel>New Jersey's three older nuclear plants and what would be an acceptable level for them. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Coleman says the issue could take some time to resolve. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Tomorrow night, we'll examine plant safety and visit the site of the nation's worst <v Larry Stuelpnagel>commercial nuclear accident, Three Mile Island. <v Marc Levenson>Just how safe is nuclear power? <v Marc Levenson>Was the accident at Three Mile Island the lesson the industry learned from or a warning
<v Marc Levenson>of what is to come? Well, how safe are New Jersey's nuclear power plants <v Marc Levenson>and how do their neighbors feel about plant safety? <v Marc Levenson>Those are the questions Larry Stuelpnagel looks at tonight as he continues his series, <v Marc Levenson>New Jersey Nukes: The Broken Promise? <v Larry Stuelpnagel>The cooling towers of Three Mile Island were just part of a pastoral Pennsylvania <v Larry Stuelpnagel>landscape until March 28, 1979. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Now they are symbols of the accident that day that jolted the people of Middletown and <v Larry Stuelpnagel>the entire nuclear industry. <v Linda Brash>I dealt with energy from the switch to the light bulb, and <v Linda Brash>all I did was worry about changing the light bulb and all of a sudden <v Linda Brash>a nuclear accident happened. <v Linda Brash>That woke me up and I didn't really want to be woken up. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Experts now say a combination of mechanical breakdown and human error sent TMI's <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Unit 2 reactor out of control before the plant could be shut down. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Temperatures in the reactor core reached 5,080 degrees. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Melting nuclear fuel and releasing radioactive steam into the atmosphere.
<v Larry Stuelpnagel>Despite the ominous implications of the partial meltdown, a State Health Department study <v Larry Stuelpnagel>found no evidence of an increase in cancer because of the accident at Three Mile Island. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>The state health secretary says the report is the first scientific analysis of cancer <v Larry Stuelpnagel>among area residents who live within 20 miles of the plant. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>[Stuelpnagel and Reid talking] But the mayor of Middletown, who now keeps a radiation <v Larry Stuelpnagel>monitor on his desk, doesn't believe the survey results. <v Robert Reid>I would have to say they diluted the whole darn study by including <v Robert Reid>a large area. <v Robert Reid>I think if they would have taken possibly a 5 mile <v Robert Reid>radius of the plant, they would find that the cancer rates are probably higher. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>The operators of Three Mile Island General Public Utilities of Parsippany say the <v Larry Stuelpnagel>radiation protection systems worked and the nuclear industry is safer now <v Larry Stuelpnagel>because of what happened here. <v Doug Bedell>While the accident was certainly a traumatic experience for the public and it's been a <v Doug Bedell>very costly experience for our company and for other elements of the industry, <v Doug Bedell>the light of history, I think, is going to show that that experience has made the
<v Doug Bedell>technology a stronger, more reliable technology. <v Plant Worker>Site protection, this is a drill, this a drill site protection come in please this is the <v Plant Worker>control room. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>How to deal with an accident similar to Three Mile Islands is now rehearsed regularly, <v Larry Stuelpnagel>along with other scenarios at New Jersey's 4 nuclear power plants. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>This drill was at the Hope Creek plant in Salem County. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>It's scheduled to go online in the middle of next year. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Hope Creeks' wwner, Public Service Electric and Gas knows the price of safety failures. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>In 1983, the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission fined PSE&G <v Larry Stuelpnagel>a record 850 thousand dollars. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>The NRC said PSE&G Salem Unit 1 reactor suffered the most significant <v Larry Stuelpnagel>safety system malfunction since Three Mile Island, when twice in three days <v Larry Stuelpnagel>an automatic shutdown mechanism failed during low power startup tests. <v Corbin McNiell Jr.>The lessons that we learned from that particular incident are institutionalized in <v Corbin McNiell Jr.>the organization so that we minimize the chance of anything happening similar <v Corbin McNiell Jr.>to that, again. We'd point out to you that there was, in fact, a safety system failure.
<v Corbin McNiell Jr.>However, the reactor was shut down normally by the operators. <v Robert Pollard>The event at Salem and what happened wasn't serious, you see? <v Robert Pollard>What could have happened under slightly different circumstances with the plant at a <v Robert Pollard>higher power level could have been quite serious. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>[Pollard and Stuelpgnagel continue talking] Robert Pollard was once a safety engineer for <v Larry Stuelpnagel>the NRC, but he quit because he believes the agency puts industry profits ahead <v Larry Stuelpnagel>of plant safety. He's now a consultant for the watchdog organization, the Union <v Larry Stuelpnagel>of Concerned Scientists. <v Robert Pollard>In my view, every time you build a nuclear power plant, you have decided <v Robert Pollard>that it's acceptable to have an accident that will kill a few thousand people <v Robert Pollard>as long as it doesn't happen too often. <v Doug Bedell>There's a fixation on danger, in some quarters in the <v Doug Bedell>public, which grows out of incorrect assumptions, the feeling being that there's <v Doug Bedell>something perhaps lurking around the corner in a plant that hasn't been detected hasn't <v Doug Bedell>hasn't hasn't been spotted. <v Doug Bedell>These plants have been gone over with absolutely fine tooth comb.
<v Larry Stuelpnagel>In the event of a major accident, New Jersey has plans to evacuate everyone within a 10 <v Larry Stuelpnagel>mile radius of either the Salem or Oyster Creek plant sites. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>That means moving 13,000 people near the Salem Hope Creek plants and <v Larry Stuelpnagel>71,000 residents around Oyster Creek. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>But nuclear plant neighbors in New Jersey don't seem to worry about an accident. <v Interviewee 1>That doesn't bother me. It really doesn't, no. <v Interviewee 2>Good management, nuclear, I believe safe. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>But back in Pennsylvania, another Middletown resident, Paula Kenny, wonders if her <v Larry Stuelpnagel>daughter's ovary cancer wasn't result of what happened at TMI. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>And with Unit 1 restarting, she fears another accident. <v Paula Kenny>It's uh very difficult. <v Paula Kenny>When you have to live with this thing <v Paula Kenny>hovering over you, it's like a tornado that keeps circling your home constantly. <v Paula Kenny>And it's so unfair. <v Paula Kenny>It's so not here in America.
<v Paula Kenny>It's so unfair. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Paula Kenny says she and her family are moving. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>However, there is no moving away from the one billion dollar cleanup cost at Three Mile <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Island under the so-called Thornburg plan, the federal government will pay one hundred <v Larry Stuelpnagel>ninety million dollars toward the cleanup, with New Jersey taxpayers kicking in an extra <v Larry Stuelpnagel>11 million dollars to be paid in installments. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>The remaining costs are to be paid by the state of Pennsylvania. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>The utilities, their customers and the nuclear industry in general. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Tomorrow night, we'll conclude this report with a look at nuclear's fading future. <v Marc Levenson>When New Jersey's 4th nuclear power plant, Hope Creek, goes online next year, it will <v Marc Levenson>become part of a dying breed. <v Marc Levenson>At one time, as many as 10 plants were planned for the state, but six were scrapped. <v Marc Levenson>They were part of 75 cancelations nationwide since 1978. <v Marc Levenson>Still, over 100 plants will be operating by the end of the decade. <v Marc Levenson>But after that, the nuclear program apparently is at an end. <v Marc Levenson>There are no new orders for plants. <v Marc Levenson>Still, the industry is fighting to keep nuclear power alive.
<v Marc Levenson>Tonight, Larry Stuelpnagel looks at what happened to nuclear power and the prospects for <v Marc Levenson>its future as he concludes his special report, New Jersey Nukes: The Broken <v Marc Levenson>Promise? <v Larry Stuelpnagel>In many ways, the skeleton of the Forked River nuclear power plant in Lacey Township <v Larry Stuelpnagel>represents the future of commercial nuclear energy. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Jersey Central Power and Light abandoned the project in 1980 because of the billion <v Larry Stuelpnagel>dollar cost and another of its plants, the crippled Unit 2 reactor at Three Mile Island. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>TMI, which is run by General Public Utilities in Parsippany, did more than stop work <v Larry Stuelpnagel>at Forked River. It left a lasting psychological scar on the public about nuclear <v Larry Stuelpnagel>safety. A partial meltdown at TMI's Unit 2 was the worst commercial nuclear power <v Larry Stuelpnagel>plant accident in U.S. history. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Industry spokesmen say safety improvements have been made since then, but many scientists <v Larry Stuelpnagel>think that with more nuclear power plants coming online, the odds are increasing that <v Larry Stuelpnagel>there will be another accident. <v Frank von Hippel>Three Mile Island occurred after there had been about 500 <v Frank von Hippel>reactor years of operating experience in this country.
<v Frank von Hippel>We hav- know about 100 reactors operating in this <v Frank von Hippel>country. And so about every 5 years you'd expect such an event. <v Doug Bedell>Fortunately, the plants are being run by odds makers. <v Doug Bedell>The plants are being run by people interested in safety and then running them properly <v Doug Bedell>and correctly so that accidents don't happen. <v Doug Bedell>And that's where our concern and attention is. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>After the Three Mile Island accident, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission required <v Larry Stuelpnagel>expensive safety modifications at all plants. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>The United States has invested 125 billion dollars in its nuclear power program, <v Larry Stuelpnagel>more than the cost of the Vietnam War. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Industry analysts now say that's the result of a lack of a standard plant design, huge <v Larry Stuelpnagel>cost overruns, spiraling interest rates, opposition groups and a decreasing <v Larry Stuelpnagel>energy demand. <v Robert Williams>I think that nuclear power has probably suffered some of the most <v Robert Williams>sharp rises in energy prices of any almost any electricity <v Robert Williams>source that we that we have. And it's even large in comparison to the price
<v Robert Williams>increases that have taken place for some other fuels as well. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>In the 1950s, when President Eisenhower began a nuclear power plant by remote control <v Larry Stuelpnagel>with an atomic wand, the government touted nuclear as an energy source that would be <v Larry Stuelpnagel>too cheap to meter <v Lawrence Codey>If it was a promise it was broken, because it's certainly uh not cheap <v Lawrence Codey>enough that you can ignore metering it. <v Lawrence Codey>Uh it's uh it's still one of the cheaper alternatives. <v Lawrence Codey>And with some changes in regulation, some changes in design, <v Lawrence Codey>in terms of standardization, it still may be the cheapest alternative in <v Lawrence Codey>the future. <v Commercial Narrator>[Background music] It's possible, you know, it's possible to become too dependent on <v Commercial Narrator>energy from other countries, but that energy can be taken away...[Commercial continues] <v Larry Stuelpnagel>You may have already seen these TV commercials. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>The U.S. Committee for Energy Awareness, an industry funded organization, is spending 20 <v Larry Stuelpnagel>million dollars a year to promote conservation and two central sources of power... <v Commercial Narrator>[Background music] ... coal and nuclear energy. They're part of the homegrown energy
<v Commercial Narrator>America can count on. <v Harold Finger>We think those are the two principal sources of the electricity we'll need. <v Harold Finger>More important than that, we just need more electricity. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>Is your organization engaged in a battle for the hearts and minds of the people for <v Larry Stuelpnagel>nuclear energy? <v Harold Finger>No, no. We're trying to get that's a good way to put it. <v Harold Finger>And I'd love to have that happen. But the point is, we're trying to put out as factual a <v Harold Finger>set of information as we can about the role of electricity and the sources that can be <v Harold Finger>that can provide it. <v PSA Narrator>This year, the nuclear industry is spending millions to sell you on nuclear power. <v PSA Narrator>Let's look at the facts. Conservation and solar energy have saved consumers...[continues <v PSA Narrator>talking]. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>An environmental coalition the Safe Energy Communications Council produced this public <v Larry Stuelpnagel>service announcement to counter the industry's advertising campaign. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>The council says the nuclear industry wants more than just streamline plant regulations. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>It wants the federal government to once again become its working partner to underwrite <v Larry Stuelpnagel>the future of nuclear power. <v Robert Pollard>Probably the industry's plans are to find some way again to have a taxpayer
<v Robert Pollard>bailout this industry, just as the taxpayers having to pay for <v Robert Pollard>developing waste disposal methods and paying for that. <v Robert Pollard>I think the industry basically could not survive on its own <v Robert Pollard>in a competitive marketplace. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>And now nuclear faces competition from cheaper sources of energy like co-generation. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>That and nuclear is problems, have caused New Jersey's energy commissioner to write new <v Larry Stuelpnagel>nuclear power plants out of the state's master plan. <v Leonard Coleman>Nuclear power plants have priced themselves out of existence <v Leonard Coleman>so that any experience that we've had with regard to design and competitive bidding, it's <v Leonard Coleman>not gonna be relevant to the future. <v Leonard Coleman>There will not be any more nuclear power plants built in the United States that I <v Leonard Coleman>can see. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>The industry has finished? <v Leonard Coleman>The industry is a dinosaur. <v Larry Stuelpnagel>For the record, Public Service Electric and Gas does not contribute to the US Committee <v Larry Stuelpnagel>for Energy Awareness. General Public Utilities no longer gives to the group, but it did <v Larry Stuelpnagel>give the committee 15,000 dollars in seed money in 1982.
Program
New Jersey Nukes: The Broken Promise?
Producing Organization
New Jersey Network
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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cpb-aacip-526-804xg9g82w
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Program Description
"'New Jersey Nukes, The Broken Promise' was the first broadcast examination of the poor performance of New Jersey's nuclear power plants. The series grew out of repeated breakdowns at the state's three operating nuclear power plants and the cost of a fourth plant that will go on-line in 1986. The series exposes the startling fact that these three plants had an operating record that is second to none in down time. "In one report, for the first time, the Vice President of Nuclear at Public Service Electric and Gas, admits the plants have poor operating records and pledges that the company will strive to do significantly better. The state Energy Commissioner, Leonard Coleman, says the companies will not only have to promise to perform better, they will have to improve their performance in order to justify future rate increases. In the report he calls for establishing a performance standard that he will propose at the state's next hearing for the 4th and newest nuclear power plant Hope Creek. This was the first time Coleman had gone public with this plan. "The series also put the issue of nuclear power into historical perspective, showing how the country was at first awed by the destructive force of the atom, and the subsequent grandiose promise that their force could produce electricity that would be 'too cheap to meter.' "That promise turned out to be a broken promise for the economic reasons that are outlined in the report and because of the lingering safety questions left by the accident at Three Mile Island. "The series notes that more money has been spent on the nuclear industry than was spent on the Viet Nam war. Still, the industry is spending millions of dollars trying to convince the public of the need for more plants. "This series merits a Peabody award because of its in-depth coverage of nuclear energy plant malfunctions which drew a promise from N.J.'s primary utility company to greatly improve its operations. Plus the series put nuclear energy into historical perspective and probed the huge public relation campaign to promote more nuclear power plant construction."--1985 Peabody Awards entry form. This series includes interviews with important board members of Public Service Electric and Gas such as Lawrence Codey and Corbin McNiell Jr. Additionally, the program includes an interview with General Public Utilities representative, Doug Bedell. Larry Stuelpnagel also speaks with New Jersey government officials including public advocate Alfred Slocum, N.J. Energy Commissioner Leonard Coleman, President of the Board of Public Utilities Barbara Curran, Mayor Robert Reid, and a representative from the U.S. Committee for Energy Awareness, Harold Finger. In order to get the full story, Stuelpnagel also talks with scientists including Physics professors Dr. Robert Williams and Dr. Frank von Hippel as well as Robert Pollard, a concerned scientist. Finally, Stuelpgnagel gets the opinions of various New Jersey residents.
Broadcast Date
1985-01
Asset type
Program
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Moving Image
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00:22:05.780
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Producing Organization: New Jersey Network
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-edd3e894f00 (Filename)
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Citations
Chicago: “New Jersey Nukes: The Broken Promise?,” 1985-01, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-804xg9g82w.
MLA: “New Jersey Nukes: The Broken Promise?.” 1985-01. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-804xg9g82w>.
APA: New Jersey Nukes: The Broken Promise?. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-804xg9g82w