"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Jackson County Commission, Court Referral Community Corrections Independent Audit to be Requested, IT Security Issues, November 28, 2016

Winter Picture of Jackson County Courthouse, FaceBook photo by J.Holt - Fair Use for non-profit news reporting and commentary. 

Reference Agenda Item 7 - The sooner an Information Technology Director is hired the better. It was revealed in this session that Jackson County has serious issues relating to information security.

Reference Agenda Item 9 - Letter of Support from the Commission to Community Corrections is conditional, depending on an independent audit within 90 days and its outcome. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this audit, or if Community Corrections refuses the audit. There are probably issues regarding Conflicts of Interest involving Board Members and the Director of both Community Corrections and Court Referral due to both organizations non-profit status and affiliations with outside organizations and profits received by the director and board members as a result of internal and external conflicts.  The continuing saga of Court Referral and Community Corrections:  http://arklite.blogspot.com/search/label/Jackson%20County%20Community%20Corrections%20and%20Court%20Referral  


Monday, November 28, 2016

Scottsboro City Council Regular Session November 28, 2016

Scottsboro City Hall, photo by G. Morgan

There will be no council meeting on December 5, 2016 due to the Christmas Parade. There will be a duel session on December 12, 2016


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Scottsboro City Council Work Session November 21, 2016

Scottsboro City Hall photo by G. Morgan


Tony Wallingsford discusses Veterans Field with Kristine Harding, KPS Architects (photo by G. Morgan).

Kristine Harding, of KPS Architects discusses bid schedule for Veterans Field (photo by G. Morgan).


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Scottsboro, Alabama Jackson County Commission Swearing In Ceremony and Organizational Meeting November 16, 2016

Jackson County Commission, from left to right: Mr. Guffey, Ms. Gilbert, Chairman Hodges, Mr. Sisk, Mr. Venable. (photo by G. Morgan)

Swearing In Ceremony


                        Commission Organizational Meeting Agenda


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Bellefonte, Alabama - Stories About Our Nuclear Future - The Bellefonte Saga - May God have Mercy on our Souls

Ghosts of Bellefonte, photo by G. Morgan

$5 Billion of our money spent, sold for $111 million, and who is ecstatic about such a deal?
Franklin Haney-hahaha. If he builds it as a nuclear plant, he will suffer the same fate as TVA who had many more dollars than Haney. But then again , Haney is TVA's landlord. 

WAAY Video

"Sum'n good will come out of it," says current plant manager - Hahaha, what Franklin Haney goes bust and TVA laughs while ratepayers cry?

11-14-16 Sale of Bellefonte – Press Stories

Estimated costs in today’s money for the 55% complete Bellefonte Unit 1, 8-9 Billion dollars; Unit 2, 35% complete, 10-12 billion dollars.

TVA Press Release: HOLLYWOOD, Ala. ― The Tennessee Valley Authority announced today the sale of the 1,400 acre Bellefonte property, near Hollywood, Ala., to Nuclear Development, LLC for the purchase price of $111 million. The sale concludes a six-month competitive auction process designed to promote job creation and investment in northeast Alabama.  http://www.snl.com/Cache/1001216661.PDF?O=PDF&T&Y&D&FID=1001216661&iid=4063363

Clarion, Scottsboro, Al. article: Haney Investments was represented by former Congressman Bud Cramer during the press conference. http://www.theclarion.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10535:bellefonte-auctions-for-111-million-&catid=42:clarion-rotation-stories&Itemid=142

Daily Sentinel, Scottsboro, Al. article: “Today marks the first step of an exciting new journey for the people of Alabama and Tennessee,” said Franklin L. Haney, who established Nuclear Development in 2012. “The Bellefonte Nuclear Station will help transform communities across the region many of which have been hit hard by the forced closure of coal power plants over the last decade. This project will bring new life to the region by creating thousands of jobs while providing assured access to reliable, affordable, zero-emission energy.”

Haney said he also would like to thank the Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson “for their diligent work in executing this fair and open bidding process. I am grateful for the entire Alabama and Tennessee congressional delegations – especially Senators Shelby, Sessions, Alexander and Corker, as well as Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley – for their continued support of nuclear development throughout this process.”

Chattanooga Times Free Press - HOLLYWOOD, Ala. — Chattanooga developer Franklin L. Haney, who has spent the past decade trying to acquire TVA's Bellefonte Nuclear Power plant, emerged today as the winner at an auction of the abandoned nuclear plant.

Haney, who organized an investment group known as Nuclear Development LLC, agreed to pay $111 million to acquire the abandoned twin-reactor complex and the 1,600 acres it occupies along the Tennessee River here.

Haney said he hopes to finish Bellefonte, creating between 3,000 and 4,000 temporary construction jobs, and an estimated 2,000 full-time jobs once both reactors become operational.  http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/business/aroundregion/story/2016/nov/14/haney-wins-bidding-contest-abandoned-nuclear-plant/397652/

Nuclear Development LLC — formed by Tennessee businessman Franklin L. Haney and based in Washington, D.C. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/tva-selling-unfinished-nuclear-plant-northeast-alabama-43521613 Virginia: https://sccefile.scc.virginia.gov/Business/S336227  Secretary of State in Virginia lists the corporate license as delinquent. https://sccefile.scc.virginia.gov/Find/Business?SearchTerm=nuclear+development+llc&SearchPattern=K&as_fid=DqXOVjh-9mgzXgg1_3c-

Al.com press release: An unfinished nuclear power plant in northeast Alabama this morning was auctioned for $111 million. Nuclear Holdings LLC, a Washington D.C. based company, promises in its bid to bring 2,000 permanent jobs to north Alabama and up to 4,000 temporary construction jobs. The company says it plans a $13 billion investment to bring the plant online as an energy producer. http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2016/11/an_unfinished_alabama_nuclear.html

Haney Bentley Connection-Political Payola
Just the traceable donations from Haney's businesses to Bentley's last campaigns total about $300,000, much of which moved into Bentley's campaign account after the last election was over. Again, that's only what's easily traceable. That campaign account subsequently paid the salary of Rebekah Caldwell Mason, the governor's senior political advisor with whom he is accused of having an affair.  http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2016/05/after_hefty_campaign_donations.html

Rapid increases in the estimated cost to complete Bellefonte also may have also contributed to the utility taking it out of future plans for new generation capacity.  In 2013 the costs reportedly jumped from about $5 billion to a range of between $7.4 and $8.9 billion.  A private equity effort headed by Franklin Haney, an investor, offered to complete the reactor and operate it for $10 billion.  TVA turned him down saying the plan didn’t have good enough numbers to proceed. http://www.theenergycollective.com/dan-yurman/2216491/tva-backs-away-bellefonte

By 2006, when construction was halted again and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) construction permits were terminated, these completion percentages had been revised to 55 and 35. http://thebulletin.org/delivering-nuclear-promise-tvas-sale-bellefonte-nuclear-power-plant-site9524

The Problem, maybe for Haney
TVA ACT reference Section 10 and Section 15d prohibitions on sale of power outside of TVA area and power producing corporations in TVA’s area:  https://www.tva.com/file_source/TVA/Site%20Content/About%20TVA/TVA_Act.pdf

Historical Stories

SACE - Fairewinds Video

The Bellefonte Nuclear Power Saga 

Scottsboro City Council Work Session and Regular Session November 14, 2016

Scottsboro City Hall, photo by G. Morgan



Sunday, November 13, 2016

TVA, Tennessee Valley Authority, 1st Quarter 2017 Board Meeting, 2016 Financial Overview, Presidents Report, November 10, 2016 at Blairsville Georgia.

TVA graphic, Power Fist, Fair Use for non-profit news reporting and commentary. 

Union County Schools Auditorium
TVA Meeting place, nice facility. Fair Use for non-profit news reporting and commentary, Union County Georgia Schools photo.

             TVA Board Meeting 


11-10-16 Blairsville, Georgia TVA Quarterly Meeting, Citizen Input from SACE

11-10-16 Blairsville, Georgia TVA Quarterly Meeting. Part 1 is TVA's Financial Report for FY 2016.

11-10-16 TVA Board Meeting Part 2 Blairsville, Ga. - People & Performance Committee Report

November 10, 2016 Blairsville, Georgia TVA Board Meeting, Part 3 President's Report

11-10-16 Blairsville, Ga. TVA Board Meeting, Nuclear Oversight & External Relations Committee

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Scottsboro City Council Organizational Meeting November 7, 2016

Scottsboro City Hall, photo by G. Morgan



TVA Watts Bar Nuclear Plant - A Chilled Work Environment - Failed Safety Culture or NRC Lip Service? UPDATE - November 10, 2016 Falsification and Destruction of Fire Watch Records at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant - NRC Says Low Severity? Retaliation??

TVA, Tennessee Valley Authority, has boasted about the first new nuke plant in many a year. Actually it isn't new and it cost about 7 billion dollars to complete over 43 years. There are other costs, a "chilled work environment," contributing factor, STRESS to get the plant on line. The question - has safety been compromised? Photo by TVA - Fair Use for non-profit news reporting and commentary.

ADAMS Accession No. ML16315A344 (It will take a few days for this document to be posted on the NRC's info library.) ADAMS Reference link: http://adams.nrc.gov/wba/  or http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/
Document Date: November 10, 2016
This report released today after the "Chilled Effects" meeting last Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016 regarding the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant. Low significance?? Notice of Violation for willfully falsifying Fire Watch Records and destroying said records.  There may have been retaliation by a contractor involved in this incident regarding an employee refusing to sign a falsified report.

Quote: "Severity Level IV. The NRC identified a Severity Level IV violation of 10 CFR 50.9 "Completeness and Accuracy of Information," for the failure to maintain continuous compensatory fire watch information that was complete and accurate in all material respects. The licensee’s actions of creating falsified fire watch completion records...(from page 6 under Findings) "According to the testimony received by the NRC OI, on the morning of April 28, 2015, the licensee contract fire watch foreman attempted to persuade four fire watch laborers to sign fire watch records indicating that they performed the missed fire watch from the day before. Three of the individuals each signed the fire watch turnover records. However, one fire watch laborer refused to sign the fire watch turnover records. A meeting was held with the contract fire watch foreman, the contract fire protection specialist, and the TVA fire protection foreman. When it became clear that one individual would not sign the fire watch turnover record, the contract fire watch foreman disposed of the paperwork. The missed fire watch was reported to management, prompting investigations about the root causes of the missed fire watch. The licensee initiated condition report 1019953. The falsified fire watch record was never recovered." 

The NRC fined TVA $70K for falsifying Fire Watch Records at the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant, op-ed from Pam Sohn back in April of this year.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NRC, March 23, 2016
As discussed during the public meeting held on March 22, 2016 in the RII office(ML16083A403), we initiated a review in late 2015 at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant into the environment for raising and addressing safety issues. We began this review in light of information received through our inspection and allegations process associated with the Safety Conscious Work Environment (SCWE) within the Operations Department and its influence onthe safe operation of the plant. Our review includes information received through allegations, inspections, and interviews of your staff over the past few months. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NRC, has concluded that a Chilled Work Environment exists in the Operations Department because of a perception that operators are not free to raise safety concerns using all available avenues without fear of retaliation. We have not identified any serious safety violations or instances involving significant plant safety issues, but the information gathered has led to concerns about the impact the work environment is having on plant operations raises
questions about your commitment to emphasize safety over competing goals to ensure protection of people and the environment. We want to ensure that TVA has a clear understanding of the scope of our concerns and to communicate specific requests and expectations for your response.

The Safety Culture Policy Statement (76 FR 34773; June 14, 2011) sets forth the Commission's expectation that licensees establish and maintain a positive safety culture commensurate with the safety and security significance of their activities and the nature and complexity of their organizations and functions. The NRC defines nuclear safety culture as the core values and behaviors resulting from a collective commitment by leaders and individuals to emphasize safety over competing goals to ensure protection of people and the environment. A safety conscious work environment is defined by the NRC as an environment in which “employees feel free to raise safety concerns, both to their management and to the NRC, without fear of retaliation” and is one trait of a strong safety culture. NRC Regulatory Issue Summary 05-018, “Guidance for Establishing and Maintaining a Safety Conscious Work Environment,” dated August 25, 2005, further describes the NRC’s expectations in this area. More on this letter: http://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1608/ML16083A479.pdf

News Links and Reports
2) April 2016  "Watts Bar received more safety complaints from employees this year than any other U.S. plant" http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/business/aroundregion/story/2016/apr/06/watts-bar-faced-more-safety-complaints-employees-2015-any-other-us-plant/359170/
3) May 2016  "TVA vows to thaw chilled atmosphere, better handle employee safety concerns" http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/business/aroundregion/story/2016/may/25/tvtries-thaw-chilled-atmosphere-employee-conc/367469/ 
4) September 2016  "TVA OIG Report on Work Environment for Nuclear Oversight"  The bottom line of the OIG report regarding nuclear oversight -  Employees should "feel free to raise concerns without fear of retalliation." http://oig.tva.gov/reports/16rpts/2016-15398.pdf
5) Public Meeting Scheduled in Athens, Tn. regarding the Chilled Work Environment at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant on November 3, 2016, videos listed below.

The Problem With The Regulator, NRC, and the Nuclear Industry
Failures of nuclear safety culture are not enforceable actions. Comprehensive report on Safety Culture: 
"Nuclear professionals, members of the public, Congress, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), and concerned non-industry stakeholders agree on one issue: nuclear plant safety is paramount and must be the number one priority. However, the actions, and inactions, of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), and nuclear plant owners, have led to financial considerations taking priority over nuclear safety. The current focus on nuclear safety via what the industry and its regulator call “safety culture,” unless redefined and clarified, is a dead end. To truly achieve nuclear safety, “regulatory compliance and enforcement ” must be the frame used to gauge Nuclear Safety Culture." Paul Blanch (PE) Energy Consultant, author of the linked report.

Part 1 Selected Citizen Comments - The NRC would not disclose any retaliation events or occurrences. An employee states she has witnessed retaliation in the work place and discriminatory activity. Ann Harris, Retired TVA Employees who worked at Watts Barr for many years, describes her experiences in this video.  

Part 2 All Worker and Citizen Comments

Part 3 NRC Opening and Comments

Part 4, TVA Comments

Part 5 NRC Closing

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Jackson County Commission Special Called Meeting, October 31, 2016

Jackson County Courthouse, north entrance, photo by G. Morgan.
This was the last business meeting of the current county commission for FY 2016. The commission post-election organizational meeting will be November 16, 2016. The next regular meeting is scheduled for November 28, 2016

Click on Image for an expanded view.