Monday, February 13, 2023

Civil-rights leader Ernesto Pichardo says Southern Company is unfit to operate a nuclear power plant and calls for third-party administrator at Georgia facility

Vogtle Nuclear Plant near Waynesboro, GA

Southern Company is not fit to operate a nuclear power plant in Georgia and should be replaced by a third-party operator, according to a statement from the chairman of the board of directors for the CDLU public charity and advocacy group. K.B. Forbes, CEO of the CDLU and publisher of the blog, reports under the headline, "Remove Southern Company! Third-Party Administrator Should Operate Vogtle":

The criminal RICO enterprise, involving Southern Company (and its subsidiaries), Balch & Bingham, Matrix LLC, and others, has made the operation of the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant by Southern Company a liability and risk to national security.

In a letter dispatched to the three other joint operators of Vogtle Nuclear Reactors 3 and 4, Civil Rights champion Ernesto Pichardo, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the CDLU, wrote, “Frankly speaking, we are not against nuclear energy, nor are we opposed to the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant. Our opposition is to Southern Company, a racketeer influenced and criminal organization, that should have no business running nuclear power plants in the United States.”

The three other joint operators are Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities. Pichardo also let the trio know that Southern Company had hired King & Spalding last year to conduct a deep internal criminal probe.

Pichardo's message apparently reached attentive eyes and ears, reports Forbes:

The reception to Pichardo’s letter insiders tell us was warmly received. The other joint operators appear to despise Southern Company, whose mismanagement has delayed the project by six years with cost overruns of $16 billion.

Pichardo’s letter included attached articles about the ouster of Alabama Power CEO Mark A. Crosswhite, the abrupt resignation of disgraced ex-U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, and the guilty plea of registered sex offender and ex-Balch attorney Chase T. Espy for possession of kiddie porn.

Pichardo closed his letter, saying, “There is a lot to read, but the facts speak for themselves: Southern Company is unfit to run Vogtle.

The Plant Vogtle issue came to public attention about a week ago when longtime Alabama attorney Donald V. Watkins led an effort to file complaints with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), alleging Southern Company's involvement in racketeering schemes disqualified it from holding a license to own and operate Plant Vogtle, which is near Waynesboro, GA.

Watkins cited federal law to support the allegations, as we reported here at Legal Schnauzer

What is the law that appears to support the NRC complaint? Watkins explains it, and its possible repercussions, in a post at his Web site,

We believe that Section 2133(d) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, prohibits any regulated person or entity that knowingly participated in an ongoing racketeering enterprise from owning and operating nuclear power facilities in the U.S. Section 2133(d) expressly states that “no license may be issued to any person within the United States if, in the opinion of the Commission, the issue of a license to such person would be inimical to the common defense and security or to the health and safety of the public.” By definition, a person/entity that operates a multi-state racketeering enterprise poses a great danger to America’s national security and public safety.

The Vogtle issue picked up steam when K.B. Forbes addressed reports that Joe Perkins, founder and owner of Matrix LLC, possessed a trove of dirt on Alabama Power executives, raising the notion of possible blackmail. Wrote Forbes:

Unsubstantiated rumors are circulating saying that Sloppy Joe and Matrix have so much dirty laundry on Alabama Power executives, unlike Florida Power & Light, they cannot fire or terminate the diminutive consultant.

Regardless if the rumors are true or untrue, the fact that someone could possibly blackmail Southern Company executives makes the company an open security risk.

The Pichardo letter arrives as Southern Company faces a muddled future, filled with uncertainty that appears to be largely of its own making. Writes Forbes:

The letter comes on the heels of multiple complaints to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice about Southern Company’s criminal RICO enterprise and misconduct.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is currently reviewing the misconduct and criminal acts affiliated with the criminal enterprise.

While Southern Company attempts to obtain a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, Southern Company could be removed or ousted as operator of Vogtle.

Some cannot believe this scenario, and they are the same ones who couldn’t believe that the “most powerful man in Alabama,” Mark A. Crosswhite, would ever be ousted.


Robby Scott Hill said...


Robby Scott Hill said...

The Chinese “weather balloon” passed near Vogtle & it’s a sure bet they’re interested in whatever’s going on around it & its operation.

Robby Scott Hill said...

TVA isn’t much better, trying to give control of Bellefonte to the Russians. It’s a breeder reactor & yet, they’re is a Venezuelan controlled CITGO service station right outside the front gate. No need to fly a weather balloon over it when you have a potential listening station next door. That said, I like to rub it in Southern Company’s face that my power bill is less than $100 every month & I use the savings to hang out near their corporate headquarters in Atlanta, meet new people & persuade them to work for change. Lots of stuff going on in Atlanta. The very computers behind all the electronic voting machine shenanigans are located in a nondescript hub over on the west side in all those warehouses. The more you know…

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for an excellent batch of comments, Rob. You touch on regional, national, and international issues. You've got all the bases covered, with solid insights for our readers. Thanks for your big-time contributions.