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8The Daily Tar HeelFriday, August 29, 1986
9-? var t editorial freedom
Randy Farmer, Managing Editor
ED BRACKETT, Associate Editor
DEWEY MESSER, Associate Editor
Tracy Hill. News Editor
Grant Parsons, university Editor
LINDA MONTANARI, City Editor
JILL GERBER, State and National Editor
Scott Fowler, sports Editor
DENISE SMITHERMAN, Features Editor
ROBERT KEEFE, Business Editor
Elizabeth Ellen, Am Editor
DAN CHARLSON, Photography Editor
Play it safe Sunday
Before the next issue of The Daily
Tar Heel reaches the campus Tuesday,
thousands of UNC students will be
stripped of a fundamental privilege
the legal right to consume alcohol.
Labor Day 1986 will no doubt bring
a tremendous change in student spirits
The topic has dominated campus
conversations since students returned
two weeks ago. Reports have circu
lated about stockpiles of liquor in
warehouses and underaged drinkers
caught using fake driver's licenses.
Interest is high to determine exactly
how the UNC social scene will be
But some disturbing rumors have
circulated about how students will
down their last legal beer. Prognos
ticators foresee a tremendous "prohi
bition party" on Franklin St. Sunday
night thrown by students staying in
Chapel Hill over the weekend. The
expected celebration has been com
pared by some local media to the 1982
bash after UNC won the men's
national basketbal championship. It
was an evening worthy of mass
celebration and consumption.
Sunday, Aug. 31, 1986, will not be
the same kind of evening. Instead of
basking in a glorious victory, the
victims of the new law will be legally
drowning their sorrows at favorite
downtown nightspots for the last time.
Instead of euphoria, there will be
disappointment, and perhaps
Use of the word "victim may seem
exaggerated. However, the initiative to
push the drinking age hike through
state legislatures reigns as one of the
largest single cases of blackmail ever
committed. States faced the threatened
loss of federal highway funds for non
compliance. President Reagan is the
perpetrator of this "crime, and he is
getting away with it.
However, Sunday night should not
be seen as an opportunity for vindi
cation. Revelers need not set as their
goal the closing down of Franklin St.
Irresponsible drinking was an excuse
used to pass the law. Don't make it
a valid point.
ork release needs reform
Twice within the last six months,
a N.C. prison inmate convicted for
rape escaped Orange County work
release and allegedly raped a woman.
"The statistical odds really abounded
on us," John G. Patseavouras, director
of the state's Division of Prisons, told
the Durham Morning Herald. But the
situation should be treated more
How can someone charged with so
severe a crime be allowed to participate
in work-release programs? Patseavou
ras said an inmate's crime is one of
the major factors considered in
approving work release, in which an
inmate temporarily leaves the prison
for a regular job.
Then why was Bryant Williams Jr.,
an inmate in the Orange County
prison, approved for work release by
the N.C. Parole Commission? He is
accused of raping an Orange County
woman after escaping while on work
release. It was also through the request
of the N.C. Parole Commission that
Robert Lee Carter, an inmate at the
same prison, was on work release in
April. Now he's charged with leaving
the job, kidnapping and raping an
According to a spokesperson for the
N.C. Division of Prisons, a committee
of officials from surrounding prisons
interviews inmates and studies their
records before recommending
transfers to a lower-security prison.
The recommendation is then reviewed
by a second committee, and may be
examined again if the convict's crime
is serious. When an inmate is being
reviewed for a minimum security
program, the committee may also
recommend work release.
There is another way. If an inmate
is in a minimum-security prison, the
N.C. Parole Commission can request
the program to see how an inmate
handles limited freedom. The Depart
ment of Corrections has the final say
on these requests, but usually approves
them, Patseavouras said.
Orange County District Attorney
Carl Fox has rightfully asked prison
authorities to revise the program,
recommending those convicted of rape
be denied work-release privileges.
E. Cooper Ayscue, Orange County
prison's superintendent, told the
Morning Herald he did not know how
many prisoners on work release have
been convicted of rape.
He should know. Whether or not
Orange County citizens are as inter
ested as Fox in allowing no convicted
rapist to participate in work release,
the two incidents should not be taken
so lightly as to be called a "statistical
It is one oddity to which no Orange
County citizen would like to
The Daily Tar Heel
Editorial Writer: KathyNanncy
Editorial Assistant: Nicki Weisensee
Omnibus Editor: Sallie Krawcheck
Assistant Managing Editors: Jennifer Cox, Amy Hamilton, Donna Leinwand and Jean Lutes.
News: Lisa Allen, Andrea Beam, Rick Beasley, Helene Cooper, Michelle Efird, Jennifer Essen, Jeannie
Faris, Scott Greig, Mike Gunzenhauser, Maria Haren, Nancy Harrington, Suzanne Jeffries, Teresa
Kriegsman, Laura Lance, Scott Larsen, Alicia Lassiter, Donna Leinwand, Mitra Lotfi, Jackie Leach,
Brian Long, Guy Lucas, Karen McManis, Laurie Martin, Toby Moore, Kathy Nanney, Felisa Neuringer,
Rachel Orr, Gordon Rankin, Liz Saylor, Valerie Stegall, Rachel Stiffler, Elisa Turner, Laurie Willis
and Bruce Wood. Jo Fleischer and Jean Lutes, assistant university editors. Kelly Hobson and Eric
Whittington, wire editors.
Sports: Mike Berardino, James Surowiecki and Bob Young, assistant sports editors. Bonnie Bishop,
Greg Cook, Phyllis Fair, Paris Goodnight, Laura Grimmer, Louise Hines, Greg Humphreys, Eddy
Landreth, Mike Mackay, Kathy Mulvey, Jill Shaw and Wendy Stringfellow.
Features: Eleni Chamis, Jeanie Marao, Kathy Peters, Katie White and Susan Wood.
Arts: James Burrus, Alexandra Mann and Rob Sherman.
Photography: Charlotte Cannon, Larry Childress, Jamie Cobb, Tony Deifell and Janet Jarman.
Copy Editors: Karen Anderson, assistant news editor. Dorothy Bans, Beverly Imes, Gerda Gallop,
Lisa Lorcntz, Sherri Murray and Sally Pearsall. ,
Editorial Cartoonists: Adam Cohen, Bill Cokas and Trip Park.
Business and Advertising: Anne Fulcher, general manager; Patricia Benson, advertising director; Mary
Pearse, advertising coordinator, Angela Ostwalt, student business manager; Eve Davis, student advertising
manager. Ruth Anderson, Jennifer Garden, Kelli McElhaney, Christy Mennitt, Beth Merrill, Anne
Raymer, Julie Settle, Peggy Smith, Kent Sutton and Ashley Waters, advertising representatives; Mindell
Rosenberg, office manager and Mary Brown, secretary.
Oistributioncirculation: William Austin, manager.
idutiion: Brcndu Mot nd Stacy Wynn. C. Ron Allen and Rita Galloway, production assistants.
Printing: The Chapel Hill Newspaper
Location: 20 miles south of Raleigh
Size: 10,723 acres
Plant Generating Capacity: 900 megawatts at capacity
Construction Cost $3.6 billion
Number of Employees: approximately 700
Construction Began: 1978
Cooling tower at Shearon Harris plant
CASH, CP&L reps debate controversial N-plant
The UNC chapter of the Coalition for
Alternatives to Shearon Harris held its first
meeting this week to rally opposition to the
nuclear power plant under construction
southeast of Raleigh. Members of the UNC
chapter of the Coalition for Alternatives to
Shearon Harris (CASH) have criticized the
plant for skyrocketing construction costs
and possible dangers to area residents in case
of a serious accident. A member of CASH
and a spokesman for Carolina Power &
Light addressed the criticisms.
Representing CP&L is Roger Hannah, a
news spokesman for the company. Repres
enting CASH is Mark Reichard, a sopho
more international studies major from
Columbia, S.C.a co-founder of the campus
chapter of CASH.
Mark Reichard, CASH
What about Shearon Harris is CASH
"First of all, CP&L's safety record is not
good. For example, in 1982-83, CP&L had
more worker exposure to radiation than any
other plant in the nation.
"But basically, we're concerned about
construction faults in the plant. CP&L says
that the dome is so strong that you could
fly a 747 into it and it wouldn't break it.
What they ignore, is that it's supposed to (
keep explosions in and it won't do that.
"The economic part of it doesn't add up
either. In 1971, they originally said they were
going to build four reactors for $1.05 billion.
Now, it's 1986, and they've built one for
"Also, an alternative suggestion is to
convert the Shearon Harris nuclear plant
to a coal plant. They say it will cost $5 billion
dollars to do this, as opposed to $100 million
for decommissioning it in 40 years when the
radioactivity gets too high. But what they're
overlooking is that the coal plant could be
used forever, while the nuclear plant will
get 40 years' use at the most.''
Do you feel that there is a need for another
"No. CP&L says the energy growth is
between six and 10 percent when, actually,
it's at between zero and two percent.''
Do you feel that their containment is
"No. CP&L keeps emphasizing their,
concrete and steel containment structures in
explaining why an accident couldn't happen
here. But steel is already beginning to boil
at 2,800 degrees, and concrete begins to
decombine at 2,400 degrees. In a core
meltdown, temperatures of 5,000 degrees are
reached, far above what's needed to breach
Can you compare Shearon Harris to
"Even the NRC admits that there is a 50
percent chance of a full-scale meltdown
within the next 20 years to a degree which
we're not equipped to handle, possibly
resulting in an accident worse than
CP&L also claims that they have been
given a clean bill of health as far as safety
is concerned by the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC). How do you feel about
"The NRC is a direct outgrowth of the
old Atomic Energy Commission, whose first
mandate in their charter was to promote
nuclear power however possible. For
instance, they have never refused a request
for a permit to build a nuclear plant. They
bend over backwards to help the nuclear
What else are you concerned about?
"Nuclear waste. It will be around for
thousands of years, even if it's buried. In
Barnwell, S.C., where they have a nuclear
plant, there is also one of the highest rates
of cancer in the country.
"Also, they say nuclear fuel is cheaper than
coal that's true, but nuclear power plants
cost 25 percent more to operate, which
means we will be paying 25 percent more
in electric bills."
What kinds of accidents could happen at
"There are much nastier possibilities than
the traditional meltdown (where the area
affected wouldn't be inhabitable for thou
sands of years). In one case, the roof of the
containment structure would be ruptured,
sending radioactive steam, molten metal and
concrete debris for miles around. This is
know as a core melt ejection accident.
"A variation on this scenario, called a
power excursion accident, could result in the
lid of the reactor vessel being blown right
through the containment structure, causing
ballistic damage as well as spewing waste.
Since the first accident could result in
minutes and the second in perhaps three
hours no evacuation plan could have time
to take effect."
Arent there systems to prevent such
"Yes, but the Harris record is not good.
In May 1986, an emergency service water
pump (used to cool equipment employed
during a nuclear accident) failed to operate
during routine tests. Extensive testimony has
been given before the NRC about construe-,
tion and safety problems. Unfortunately, the
NRC, which is little more than a nuclear
industry cheerleader, ignored the problems."
What do you have to say in conclusion? ,
"If things go perfectly, the plant will be
all right. But if you look at the history of
nuclear plants, it's nothing but a series of
accidents and failures."
Roger Hannah, CP&L
What is the need for the Shearon Harris
nuclear power plant?
"The main reason that the plant needs
to open is the energy demand of consumers
in this area.
"The N.C. Utilities Commmission
requires that we reserve 20 percent of
capacity above what the average demand
would be, in case of emergencies ... if we
did not have the Harris plant operating
within the next few years, we would fall
below that 20 percent by 1987.
"That's despite having conservation plans
in place. Some opponents allege that we
could save the necessary electricity through
increased conservation, but . . . our service
area is growing so quickly we still need the
What are the alternatives to providing
energy through the Shearon Harris plant?
"The alternative would have to be a coal
fired plant and that's not really a viable
alternative at this point." To convert the
Shearon Harris facility to a coal-fired plant
would cost about $5 billion, he said.
"Opponents say we could rely on hydroe
lectric facilities, but North Carolina is not
the best state for the use of hydroelectric
"We could buy some electricity from out-
of-state, but as a regular practice, the farther
away you go to buy electricity, the more
you have to pay to wheel that electricity
from one utility's lines to another. And most
utilities won't guarantee that power on a
long-term basis; in cases of emergency, their
own customers would come first."
Tell about the safety factors built into the
Shearon Harris plant.
"First, some of the comments that have
been made in regard to similarities between
Shearon Harris and the Chernobyl plant are
ridiculous. There are similarities but there
are bigger differences.
"The Chernobyl plant had . . . chunks of
graphite that carried the heat out of the
reactor. They did have some water involved
but most of the heat was carried away by
the graphite . . . there were concrete walls
on the sides (of the reactor), but the top
amounted to almost no more than a
warehouse. So almost anything that hap
pened, the resulting radiation or whatever
would go out the top.
"Shearon Harris is a water-cooled reactor
... there is also what we call a multiple
barrier effect. The uranium is packed in little
ceramic pellets, which are wrapped in
zirconium alloy tubes."
The reactor vessel is encased in several
inches of steel, packed in steel-reinforced
concrete 4 12 feet thick at the sides, 2 1
2 feet thick at the top, with a concrete base,
Some residents are concerned about the
production and storage of radioactive waste.
"I just think there is no completely safe
way to produce electrical power. One of the
disadvantages of coal products is you do
have emissions, which some have linked to
. acid rain and other problems ... the nuclear
plant is by comparison a very clean plant.
"The high-level waste for a nuclear plant
will be about 30 tons, which is more than
it sounds because uranium is one of the
heaviest elements. You're talking about a
cube you could fit into your kitchen, maybe.
"The federal government plans to open
a national facility in the West in the 1990s
for the storage of high-level waste ... at
this point, all the high level nuclear waste
is still at the nuclear plants."
Should citizens be concerned that this
high-level waste will be stored at the Harris
"The high-level waste is stored in a fuel
handling building and is essentially as safe
as the reactor is. The building is designed
to resist earthquakes, disasters, damage to
Critics have said there were investigations
of structural damage and other problems
From 1984 to March of this year, they
(the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board)
heard hundreds of witnesses testify . . . and
after all this, April 28, the Atomic Licensing
Board resolved the issue in the company's
favor and the Nuclear Regulatory Commis
sion issued a license to operate a low
There have been accusations the company
has overrun construction costs.
"They (opponents) have said several times
it cost much more to build than was planned.
The plant was first planned in 1971 ... it
would be difficult to find a product that
hasn't increased in cost several times in 15
years. ' ' , '. -' ? '. . . :s
Mark Reichard was interviewed by
Editorial Assistant Nicki Weisensee; Roger
Hannah was interviewed by Editorial Writer