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Houston Breakthrough 1979-06
Page 8
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Houston Breakthrough 1979-06 - Page 8. June 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 23, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/912/show/896.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(June 1979). Houston Breakthrough 1979-06 - Page 8. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/912/show/896

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1979-06 - Page 8, June 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 23, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/912/show/896.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough 1979-06
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date June 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 24 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 8
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_551h.jpg
Transcript MEDIA MATTERS (continued from previous page) In fairness, it can be argued that de Menil ran the risk of offending his family by killing the story. The de Menils are strong supporters of civil liberties. As Furman pointed out, "civil liberties are very important in the anti-nuclear movement, and Francois pulled that story." It is also a fact that Brown has enjoyed a long and close association with Oveta Culp Hobby, owner of the Houston Post. Some observers have wondered if that were the reason the Post did not handle the story. "Definitely not," said Scarlett. "Nobody has ever tried to muffle me." It should also be pointed out that Mrs. Hobby, owner of the Post, is also Mrs. Hobby, owner of KPRC-TV, which ran the only series on the story. And while we're on the subject, George Brown is on the board of the Houston Endowment, which owns the Chronicle, and Laura Furman worked for the Menil Foundation from 1970 to 1976. There is still a lot of unrest at City, and a lot of ambivalence. The staff seem to be smarting from their sudden loss of independence, and there is something of a "love-hate" relationship between them and their magazine, as publisher Easterly put it. This is perhaps best characterized by Laura Furman. She resigned as senior editor because of a principle, but would like to continue as a contributing editor. Speaking of her colleagues at City, Furman said, "It's been a decision on everyone's part to stay. Their intelligence and their integrity haven't changed and obviously this is a conflict that's going to go on. I only hope (de Menil) will recognize the quality of the people he has there." As for de Menil, it was rumored that when Andrew Young was in Houston recently, de Menil discussed with him the possibility of taking a rodeo to Nigeria. I asked de Menil if he had any plans to take a rodeo to Nigeria. "Not at the moment," he said. "I have enough problems right now." Gabrielle Cosgriff is an editor of Houston Breakthrough. EINSTEIN'S GHOST (continued from previous page) opponents of nuclear power itself, have become increasingly active in the wake of the worst nuclear reactor accident in U.S. history, and are exchanging mind-boggling allegations about the South Texas Project from holes in the concrete to intimidation, coercion, and beatings. One of the most widespread rumors is that one of the massive containment shells is one foot off-axis from the building it is meant to join through a maze of pipes. That rumor seems to have come from a September 11-14, 1978, inspection report that spoke of a "special unannounced investigation of allegations regarding a mislocation of the Unit 2 structure." But the report also says "No items of non-compliance were identified." Part of the problem is in the interpretation of the language and form used in the inspection reports. For instance, under a section called "Enforcement Status" there are recurring citations of negligence or falsification of documents, or failure to keep track of the correct drawings related to the reactor's concrete and steel containment vessel, or failure to follow approved maintenance procedures for the cooling system and pumps", all critical parts of the facility. However, on the same pages on which these seeming infractions are explained, there are summaries that describe an inspection and these tend to end with "No items of noncompliance or deviations were identified." The summaries do not refer to the same inspection noted under "Enforcement Status," but the form has caused confusion, leading to cries of "cover- up." Some of the problems being brought to light at the South Texas Nuclear Project are in areas of the plant in which problems arose in the film, The China Syndrome as well as at the $1.1 billion plant at Three Mile Island, which went amuck after only three months of service. Even while the cloud of low-level radiation hung over Pennsylvania like Einstein's ghost, word began to spread from Houston, Austin, San Antonio and the South Texas area that the HL&P facility was a chaos of concrete, falsification and good-will problems. A San Antonio group called Citizens Concerned About Nuclear Power has been approved by the NRC as an intervener in hearings about the South Texas Project. Members of that group intend to show proof that the facility has construction deficiencies and say that the reactor vessel itself has a design defect. They also plan to prove that inspection documents have been falsified. On April 5, San Antonio Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Griffin B. Bell requesting an investigation of all the charges. In his letter Gonzalez said, "I have received reports that inspectors at the South Texas Nuclear project have been subject to various kinds of harassment and intimidation. . . An inspector named Perry claims to have been fired for insisting that safety standards in his section be met. Another inspector named Swayze claims in a lawsuit that he was fired for over-zealous inspections. Other less specific allegations have been reported to me, indicating that inspection documents have been falsified and that inspector initials have been forged." These issues could come to a head soon during the course of a lawsuit filed by Dan Swayze, a former quality control inspector for Brown & Root, who now lives in Port Lavaca. Swayze had been monitoring concrete procedures and standards for two years at South Texas and doing well by normal measures of promotion and raises in pay. But Swayze apparently was a stickler and became a focal point of hostilities between concrete construction crews and quality control personnel on the job. He claims that after being questioned by superiors about bribery allegations against him, he was fired by Brown & Root. The NRC investigated the allegation and officially found that it was without substance. Swayze has filed a suit for civil damages against Albert D. Fraley and Brown & Root for libel and slander and wrongful discharge. (Fraley, a Brown & Root superintendent, was Swayze's boss.) Some critics wonder how HL&P and Brown & Root, which are having this early trouble controlling subcontractors and construction crews, will be able to control the installation of the reactor itself, as well as the cooling and electrical systems on which the safety of the surrounding populace will depend. Though the NRC has cited Brown & Root repeatedly, the company is quick to point out that the problems noted were corrected, thereby proving the inspection system works. Most of the infractions committed at South Texas have been in the interest of speed, a commodity HL&P officials would no doubt like to see more of. Delays of all kinds have helped raise the estimated cost of the facility from $1 billion to more than $2 billion. In the wake of the trouble at Three Mile Island, further delays are likely, as the design is checked and perhaps changed. There will also be proceedings conducted by the NRC to determine whether South Texas should be licensed to operate. At the same time, the NRC is considering an application by HL&P to build another nuclear power plant at Allen's Creek, near Wallis, only forty-five miles from downtown Houston. While the aim of some critics is admittedly to stop construction of any nuclear power projects, others are simply trying to make sure that the gigantic facility near Houston is built properly. While HL&P and Brown & Root officials argue that layer upon layer of inspection and safety systems ensure the plant will be safe, others point out that the same or similar systems were in force at Three Mile Island. In any event, there is evidence that there has been negligence at the South Texas Project, and that documents have been falsified, whether through negligence, accident or otherwise. Rep. Gonzalez, in his letter to Griffin Bell, said, "... should these allegations be true, it would indicate that an attempt has been made to defraud the_ Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which I judge would be a criminal action against the government. If, indeed, there is cause to believe that such an effort has been made, I request that you act at once to investigate fully and bring action against the responsible persons." But the largest problem the South Texas Project faces is the growing public awareness that the facility, one of two being built in Texas, even exists. Not long ago, NRC hearings about the facility were virtually unattended by objectors; now people from all over the state are filing to be contenders in the process. One of those trying hard to stop the construction is Peggy Buchorn of Brazoria, who lives less than thirty miles from the plant. When Buchorn first became concerned about the project, she visited the law library at the Matagorda County Court Courthouse at Bay City, where the construction reports and other public documents relating to the nuclear project were supposed to be available for public inspection. She claims she was unable to find most of the inspection documents and promptly complained to the NRC in Washington, which sent someone to the library to make sure the materials were there and available. Buchorn, a conservative, middle-class rancher, is affiliated with an organization known as Citizens for Equitable Utilities, Inc. (CEU). CEU and other groups like it are discovering that they have a lot in common with Texas groups lobbying the legislature for the right to have statewide public referendums on tax issues. Those referendums are also backed by Governor William Clements, an oilman who supports nuclear power. (After the Three Mile Island reactor had calmed down Clements reaffirmed his support for nuclear power but called for proper safeguards.) If anti-nuclear sentiment were to become part of the referendum movement kicked off by Proposition 13, the South Texas Project—and HL&P's customers—could be in for more trouble. And if the construction problems are not cleared up, everybody in the upper Texas coast area could be in for trouble of a more permanent nature. Andrew Sansom is director of the Texas Energy Extension at the University of Houston and David Crossley is editor of Houston City Magazine. pearl school 5116 Caroline 528-6002 summer day camp ages 5-11 hours 7-6 the two most important things we can give our children are roots and wings 10-6 Mon-Fri HCUSIE OI= CCI=I=I=I= MEANS The Village 2520 Rice Blvd. 524-0057 10-5 Sat HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH JUNE 1979