Fukushima in the Foothills
Experts will speak to Oconee nuclear plant’s extreme flood risks

CLEMSON, SC — The risk of potential dam failures and extreme flooding at Duke Energy’s Oconee Nuclear Station will be addressed at a special in-person event on March 12 at 1:30 pm at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Clemson. The event will also be live broadcast via Zoom.
A retired Nuclear Regulatory Commission engineer and risk analyst, along with two nuclear power specialists, will address the particular risks faced by Duke Energy’s Oconee Nuclear Station and a recent Nuclear Regulatory Commission decision that has put reactor license renewals on hold, including at the Oconee Station.
The event, open to public and the media, takes place on March 12 at 1:30 pm at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Clemson. The event is co-sponsored by Beyond Nuclear, Nuclear Watch South and the Sierra Club. No pre-registration is required.
Fukushima in the Foothills, will feature Jeff Mitman who is a U.S Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) whistleblower, Paul Gunter, a reactor oversight expert from the Takoma Park, Maryland-based NGO, Beyond Nuclear, and their attorney, Diane Curran, Esq. (via Zoom). Linda Pentz Gunter, the international specialist from Beyond Nuclear, will also be available to answer questions.
The speakers will address the latest developments surrounding the federal challenge to Duke Energy’s application currently before the NRC for Duke Energy’s three reactors’ second 20-year operating license extension out to 2053 and 2054.
The Oconee Nuclear Station’s three reactors are located on Lake Keowee, just over 10 miles from the city of Clemson. They combine for a 2,500 megawatt output.The three reactors also sit just ten miles downstream from the massive Jocassee Dam (385’) and the adjacent Keowee Dam (170’). Beyond Nuclear and Sierra Club contend that Duke Energy has failed to adequately prepare for an extreme flood should the Jocassee dam fail.
Beyond Nuclear experts contend that a Jocassee Dam failure could send as much as 19 feet of floodwater downstream, likely inundating and disabling the Oconee Nuclear Station reactors’ cooling and safety systems. This could potentially cause one or multiple reactor meltdowns and lead to significant offsite radiation releases downwind and downstream. This would most likely result in an unimaginable catastrophe for Upstate South Carolina, North Georgia and Western North Carolina.
WHAT: Presentations by Jeff Mitman, Paul Gunter and Diane Curran, followed by Q&A
WHERE: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, 100 Thomas Green Blvd, Clemson, SC 29631
WHEN: Saturday, March 12, 2022.
TIME: 1:30pm-3:30pm
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 821 5222 0529
Passcode: 236537
Jeff Mitman is a retired NRC nuclear engineer and risk analyst who was on staff to review Oconee nuclear generating station and its operations below the Jocassee and Keowee Dams. He is the expert witness in a legal challenge to Duke Energy’s license extension application. He was part of the NRC emergency response team sent to Japan in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident on March 11, 2011.
Paul Gunter is the director of the Reactor Oversight Project at Beyond Nuclear with more than 40 years of experience in the public interest on nuclear power and nuclear waste issues.
Linda Pentz Gunter is the international specialist at Beyond Nuclear, the organization’s founder and a former journalist who writes for and curates Beyond Nuclear International.
Diane Curran is one of country’s leading attorneys litigating in the public interest before the NRC on the licensing and oversight of commercial power reactors. She is representing Beyond Nuclear and Sierra Club in a legal challenge of Duke Energy’s license extension application.
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