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Historic Films
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NT-3184 @ 01:07:43
The Eleventh Hour - Show #184 Title: Shoreham Guests: Karl Grossman, Author; Jack Kulka, Business Executive Pro -Shoreham; Marge Harrison, Consumer Activist Description: On the North Shore of Long Island stands a $5.5 billion dollar monument to human folly: the Shoreham nuclear power plant. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently granted the Long Island Lighting Company an operating license for Shoreham. But, before the license was granted, New York State bought the plant from LILCO for $1 and now plans to close it down. Who will foot the bill for this white elephant? Long Island residents, who have already paid $2 billion for its construction, may also be stuck with the bill for its decommissioning. Host Robert Lipsyte discusses this topic with guests on tonight's program. Original Broadcast Date: 5-22-89
INTERVIEW Robert Lipsyte: Joining me now is Karl Grossman who covered the early use of the Shoreham nuclear power plan for the now defunct Long Island press. He's a journalism professor winner of the George Polk award he wrote a book about Shoreham, he called it Power Crazy, Karl, you're going to have to walk me through just a little bit of it. In 1968, as I recall, the Long Island Light and Power company said that they were going to build this nuclear plant in five years for $70 million. Was it a trick did they lie? What happened? Karl Grossman: Well, in fact, this is the original press release. I have it right here from the Long Island lighting company talking about this plant, they built 500 megawatt plant, they identified it then in the 65 to $75 million range. 1966, in fact, was the first press conference. Actually, it has a lot to do with New York City. A nuclear plant was supposed to be sited in Ravenswood in Queens ConEd was to build a nuclear plant there. And in 1962, that project ended the city council began considering legislation which would prohibit any nuclear plants from being built within New York City. Robert Lipsyte: They were afraid of an accident Karl Grossman: A nuclear plant in the geographical center of New York. I mean, literally, though, the Atomic Energy Commission in those days was talking about engineering safeguards. And they won't have a mining company then in the several years afterwards figured well if carnedd can't build nuclear plants in the middle of the city, will build a string of nuclear plants on Long Island making use of the abundant water on Long Island our nuclear plants take a lot of water to keep them cool. And million gallons a minute. And at that point, Long Island compared to New York City had a relatively low population. So Lilco began considering what it called a nuclear Park scheme. And it was to build anywhere from seven to 11 nuclear plants in Shoreham. So it's called Shoreham nuclear power station one was to be the first and that's why the book is called power crazy. Robert Lipsyte: And that's that's the only one that was built. Karl Grossman: They got a license to build to a Jamesport in 1980 by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which replaced the AEC, but they've only been able to go ahead with the Shoreham plant. Robert Lipsyte: Okay, now it's 23 years later, what was supposed to cost 70 million and stop me if my figures wrong. What was supposed to cost 70 million turned out to cost 5.5 billion. Not very much if any energy was produced, but a lot of people Along the way made a lot of money, right? Karl Grossman: Well, in terms of the issue of not much of energy would be produced, in fact, an enormous amount of energy would be produced. Nothing has been out nothing produced. Yeah, a little bit of low power testing, but no commercial power. In fact, Shoreham is the most expensive power plant of any sort in the world. I mean, the whole Shoreham saga is a story of extremes. And if Shoreham would go into operation, the rates on Long Island would double making Long Island rates by far the highest in the United States.
1980s NEWS