A Few More Bones To Pick

I’ve got a few more bones to pick with this AJC article on the anti-nukie report.

First, let’s go back to the first four opening paragraphs:

The figures were chilling.

Cancer death rates for children and teens up 58 percent in the region around Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle since the nuclear facility went on line. Cancer death rates up 25 percent in Burke County, where the plant sits. Hundreds to die if two new reactors get built, as Georgia Power plans.

The figures came from a report called “Health Risks of Adding New Reactors to the Vogtle Nuclear Plant.”

Commissioned by a North Carolina-based group opposing Georgia Power’s pending nuclear expansion and championed by other, Georgia-based opponents, the report was intended as a damaging shot at Georgia Power’s nuclear ambitions.

The problem is, even with that fourth paragraph, readers still have to go 371 words into the story to find out who actually did the study, or 9 paragraphs below the title. Even then, the relationship between groups disseminating the study and the group actually performing the study is nebulous in the article.

In fact, a cursory review of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s website and the Radiation and Public Health Project’s website show no copies of the report available online. Googling the title of the report gives me two results — the AJC article and my first post at Peach Pundit. Shortly, I’m sure this one will be added to the Google hits too. But neither SACE or RPHP come up.


Technorati Tags: nuclear power, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Joe Mangano, Georgia Power


  1. joe says:

    “Commissioned by a North Carolina-based group opposing Georgia Power’s pending nuclear expansion …”

    Sure is nice to know that folks 150+ miles away are looking out for the welfare of the surrounding community. Or do they perhaps have other reasons to oppose expansion, and just commissioned a study to grasp at straws?

  2. Jmac says:

    It just took way too long to develop. The figures in the second graf should be quoted, and then the identifying information in the fourth graf needs to be rolled into the third.

    I’d even question why this was a story if it was a discredited report that even the organization was backing off on. Though, I’ve worked in the news business and there are some slow days out there … perhaps this is one.

    I mean, hell, we’re blogging about writing style and not so much actual issues.

  3. Icarus says:

    I believe a lot of the AJC’s layoffs/voluntary separations/early retirements took effect June 30th. Combine an exodus of the more experienced talent with a holdiay week, and you get stories like this. Expect more to come.

  4. Loren says:

    The report is available here (PDF), on the website of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League.

    In Google searches it appears as “Health Risks of Adding New Reactors to the ALVIN Vogtle Nuclear Plant,” so a search for the title without the first name won’t find it.

  5. dogface says:

    Excellent points Eric. Shotty journalism. The story is darn near apologetic for such a flim-flam study.

  6. Federalist says:

    Great way to discredit something…it was not presented the way you like it to be. Oooooh, very convincing.

  7. AlanR says:

    Loren: Thanks for the link. I’ll read the report.

    Lead paragraph aside, this article makes opponents of the plant look very bad. This article will be cited by those supporting the plant to show how intellectually corrupt the opponents are.

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