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McHugh: New Reactor Will Provide Significant Benefit to Region

Submitted article

Congressman John M. McHugh (R-Pierrepont Manor) submitted the following statement at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission process meeting on the proposed Nine Mile 3 Nuclear Reactor.  The statement was read at the meeting by a member of the Congressman’s staff.  The meeting is an initial step in the process to consider an additional nuclear reactor at the existing Nine Mile Point facility.  Congressman McHugh is strongly supportive of adding an additional nuclear reactor at the facility, particularly in light of the current energy crunch the nation is facing.  The statement is as follows:

“I am extremely pleased that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has sent representatives to our community to discuss the upcoming process that Constellation Energy and Unistar will follow as they explore the potential construction of a new nuclear reactor at Nine Mile Point.  Let me state at the outset that I strongly support the proposal to site an additional nuclear reactor at the location in question.

“A third reactor at Nine Mile Point will provide this region with a new, safe, and environmentally responsible source of reliable energy while creating both a temporary and permanent source of employment for area residents.  As clearly demonstrated by the recent and dramatic increase of energy prices throughout this country, the United States needs to make immediate and significant investments in our energy future.  Building a new reactor right here in Oswego County would represent a significant step towards successfully meeting that challenge.

“Constellation Energy, which currently employs approximately 920 workers at their Scriba facilities, has consistently demonstrated that they are a valuable contributor to our community.  They have been the very definition of a ‘good neighbor.’  I have no doubt that they will add to this record of achievement in the future.

“According to company officials, Nine Mile Point 3 would create approximately 400 permanent, high-paying positions.  In addition, nearly four thousand workers would likely be employed during peak construction.  As an added attraction, both Constellation and Unistar have stated their intention to undertake any construction utilizing a unionized workforce.  This is something, I’m certain is near and dear to many of those present tonight.

“During my nearly quarter century in elected office I have attempted to work consistently to protect and enhance our region’s economy, environment, and health.  In my opinion, nuclear power is a key component in achieving all of these goals.  If constructed, a nuclear facility at Nine Mile would help prevent significant tons of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide, from entering our atmosphere each year.  Scientific studies have demonstrated a direct relationship between these pollutants and the incidence of increased illnesses from heart and lung disorders, such as asthma and bronchitis.  The nuclear power produced at an additional Nine Mile plant would accomplish these objectives while, at the same time, producing round-the-clock electricity.

“Let me close by saying that I stand ready to work with the members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, local government, and representatives of State, business, and labor, to take every step required to ensure the viability of this proposed project.  Again, I strongly endorse the proposed construction of a new nuclear reactor in Oswego County, and I pledge that I will utilize every appropriate tool at my disposal to assist all parties as we embark on this journey together.”