Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Plant Controversy

Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Plant Controversy (2003-2005):

In 1985, the “Grand Gulf” energy plant was established in Port Gibson in Claiborne County. By October of 2003, Entergy, an energy corporation based in New Orleans, submitted a request to expand Grand Gulf into a nuclear facility. 

Jaded by broken promises of an economic revival that was to occur in the mid ’80s when the first plant was established, Claiborne County residents were skeptical of Entergy’s plans. Much of the tax revenue generated by the 1985 plant was given to the state legislature, who distributed the revenue over forty-four counties that were disproportionately affected be an energy bill rate hike.

When Entergy proposed its nuclear site at Grand Gulf in 2003, they were opposed by the local chapter of the NAACP, NIRS (Nuclear Information and Resource Service), Public Citizen, and the Mississippi Sierra Club on the grounds of environmental racism. These groups claimed that the original Grand Gulf tax revenue debacle proved they would see little benefit from the placement of the nuclear plant in Claiborne County. They also claimed that the plant disproportionately raised the risk of a nuclear accident in a low-income area and would create nuclear waste that would have to be stored in Mississippi in the long-run.

On January 19, 2005, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) rejected the claim by local objectors and ruled in favor of Entergy. The NRC referred to the plaintiff’s evidence of environmental racism as “flyspeck environmental documents.”