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Another case of the nuclear industry bribing a university

the University is pushing to have this facility on campus because the Department of Energy is paying them a lot of money to get a new reactor up and running to revive the nuclear power industry.

I don’t believe we need to take the chance of being the first ones to see if this reactor is safe and works,” Hannon said. “We don’t have to do that and there’s no mandate saying we have to. The university is acting like an experimental guinea pig and they’re effectively taking a bribe from the DOE to put it here.


West Urbana residents criticize safety, impact of University’s plans to install novel nuclear reactor system

Rachel Gardner / For CU-CitizenAccess  The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s proposal for deploying a micro nuclear reactor in west Urbana has sparked concern among local residents, who are worried about how safe it is to have the reactor near their neighborhood.

“This project is really frustrating on several levels,” David Dorman, resident of West Urbana and one of the moderators for the neighborhood association’s listserv, said. “There’s a lot of unknowns because this is a brand new design and the reactor is untested. Anybody who has already made claims about its safety is just simply speculating.”

The residents said they also are concerned about environmental and economic impacts. 

If approved, the new micro modular reactor (known as MMR) would be the first of its kind to be installed and running on a college campus by 2025, according to the University of Illinois.

The proposed location for the facility is near Abbott Power Plant on 1117 S. Oak Street in Champaign, about 0.3 miles, or a few blocks, away from the undergraduate dormitory Nugent Hall in Ikenberry Commons. The University expects to spend around $22 million to revise the facilities near Abbott Power Plant to accommodate the microreactor.

Dorman also said that residents on the listserv who are against the proposal are uncertain on how to oppose it effectively to the project leaders. 

“The community has no voice in all of this,” Dorman said. “The University clearly wants to do it, the government wants to fund it, and it’s up to the trustees to make a final decision.”……………………..

There is no set date yet for residents for the comments or hearing.

University of Illinois Professor Emeritus of Geography Bruce Hannon said he believes that even though the facility might be beneficial for research purposes, it needs to be in a more remote location that isn’t home to over 200,000 people.  

“I have suggested several different locations for the facility, but a key one is the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois,” Hannon said. “One of the missions of the Department of Energy (DOE) is to keep the national labs funded. There’s a bunch of them around the country but the closest one to UIUC is Argonne, which is only about 130 miles away. That’s a great location for it as far as I’m concerned.”

Hannon also said the University is pushing to have this facility on campus because the Department of Energy is paying them a lot of money to get a new reactor up and running to revive the nuclear power industry.

“I don’t believe we need to take the chance of being the first ones to see if this reactor is safe and works,” Hannon said. “We don’t have to do that and there’s no mandate saying we have to. The university is acting like an experimental guinea pig and they’re effectively taking a bribe from the DOE to put it here…………….   https://www.cu-citizenaccess.org/2022/01/west-urbana-residents-criticize-safety-impact-of-universitys-plans-to-install-novel-nuclear-reactor-system/

January 25, 2022 - Posted by | Education, USA

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