Something I should worry about? (maybe…)

May 23, 2009

At 2pm on the first Monday of every month, every native of the greater Pottstown area unwittingly sprouts goosebumps of fear as they hear that old familiar sound.  Almost like clockwork, people start reaching frantically for their cellphones or watches just to be sure.  A lonesome siren, the sound of which is unmistakenly engraved into everyone’s subconscious around here, howls in the distance.  It only takes a few seconds for everyone to realize that it is the monthly test of the emergency alert system for our wonderful nuclear power plant, located rather conveniently about 4 miles from my house.
Exelon’s Limerick Generating Station has been in operation since 1980 and people seemingly do not question why this massive eye sore, environmental paradox and potential terrorist target needs to be in our neck of the woods.  The unit-1 and unit-2 reactors are licensed to the site until oct, 2024 and june, 2029, respectively.  Those dates are tough to swallow as it is; however, I was willing to bite the bullet and patiently let it expire.  But recently, Exelon has applied to have the reactors renewed for an additional 20 years each.

It would not be the end of the world or anything, as those two oh-so-familiar cooling towers( I like to call them “nuclear cloud makers”) are a staple in this area for anyone under age 35.  A staple that most undoubtedly raises concerns among most of the residents in the immediate area. So the question really is, how much does a place with such catastrophic potential weigh on the minds of southeastern Pennsylvanians?  My goal is to gauge the fear factor surrounding our nuclear power plant and Exelon’s plans to renew the reactor contracts for 20 more years, prolonging their operation clean into the 2040s.

More info on the way…