PO Box 88 ~ Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 ~ Phone (336) 982-2691 ~ Fax (336) 982-2954 ~ Email:


August 6, 2009

Louis Zeller: 336-977-0852 or
Garry Morgan:


Today citizens’ groups claimed a victory in their fight against Tennessee Valley Authority’s drive to build four nuclear power plants in northeast Alabama. According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, further action on TVA’s proposal is halted until at least 2011. Spokespersons for the citizens’ groups see the two-year delay as vindication of their stand against TVA’s plan to complete two nuclear power reactors and to add two more at its Bellefonte site near Scottsboro.

In a recent letter to the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board the NRC stated that it will not issue a draft environmental impact statement for Units 3 and 4 until TVA decides on whether to proceed with Units 1 and 2. TVA’s decision is not expected until 2011.

Among the issues raised last year in the legal case launched by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy was that the four nuclear reactors should be considered a single power plant. Lou Zeller, legal representative for the League, said, “We raised the issues of segmentation and cumulative impacts, believing that TVA’s proposal’s side-stepped critical requirements of the law.” He continued, “With this decision, it appears that the NRC has come to a similar conclusion.” Segmentation and cumulative impacts are unlawful methods of dividing a large project into smaller ones in order to underplay overall environmental impacts.

Further, the groups said that TVA now has excess electrical capacity and does not need additional power plants. BEST spokesman Garry Morgan said, “TVA is experiencing decreasing power demand according to their own reports. This is what led to the previous cancellation of Bellefonte Units 1 & 2. We who depend on TVA power cannot afford another series of poorly planned and unnecessary nuclear projects.”

Morgan, who lives in Scottsboro, Alabama, hopes that this pause in the licensing process will encourage the TVA to look closer at alternative energy solutions. He added, “The utilization of energy efficiency programs would end further expensive, risky nuclear expansion and will result in cost savings for customers and reduced impacts across the Tennessee River Valley.”

The Bellefonte Efficiency Team is a chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League. Together with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, BEST and BREDL filed successive lawsuits against TVA’s proposals to build and operate Bellefonte 3 and 4 and to complete Bellefonte 1 and 2 in 2008. For more information, go to


More info.: NRC Letters regarding delay | BREDL's Bellefonte webpage