Thanks to everyone who has contacted us on this issue. This is what we have learned about the “power plant” to use a quote from the Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius.
At the end of February the NBAF federal site selection managers sent letters to each consortia. This was the first time individual consortia had been notified of the cost for the utility support hub and infrastructure but it was not the first time the consortia had been informed of the concept and requirements for the NBAF.
According to Barrett Slenning it was first brought to the NC consortium’s attention last spring during a site visit.
“At the time they stated that the facility would need a central service support building that handled and distributed incoming utilities, provided back-up emergency generation capability, and did on-site chilled water and steam generation. Our university hospitals and public/private research facilities have similar central utility provisions, so it was not a new concept for us. We understood at that time that they would like us to help them with the utility support”.
” We are entertaining ideas on approaching these issues, but are not treating it as a ‘deal-breaking last-minute demand’, contrary to how it appears some other groups are addressing it. We fully understand the budget concerns the federal project managers have. They looking to defray some costs so as to better leverage their funds. This is one way of them accomplishing that short-term goal”.
The NC Utility Commission has not been approached on this project. Also, DHS was contacted concerning posting the letters for each site, the NBAF project manager stated that the information was “Source Selection Sensitive” so therefore it could not be made public.
Also consider this from the National Bio Agro Defense Facility Enviromental Impact Statement Scoping Report, (Final).
Section 3.11 Page 3-16
The EIS will include a section on infrastructure, which will describe utility infrastructure needed for operation of the NBAF, as well as existing utilities available at each alternative site to support the operation of the NBAF, including potable water supply, electrical power, natural gas, sanitary waste water treatment facilities, and storm water. Additionally, for each alternative site, the EIS will evaluate impacts to the infrastructure and note if existing facilities are adequate, or if upgrades, repairs, or new facilities would be needed.
The EIS, apparently will unlock Pandora’s box of information.
This is a developing story and updates we be provided as they become available.
One issue is clear the associated cost of this facility for the residents of Butner continue to climb and the utility hub issue raises more questions. Now we can add to the mix increased water usage, also natural gas power production produces more ozone emissions.