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September 14, 1990 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-14

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1

Page 8-The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 14, 1990

Greenspan says FDIC
funds are at low point

Asian-American
rep. aims to unite
student groups

WASHINGTON (AP)- Federal
Reserve Chairperson Alan Greenspan
said yesterday the fund that protects
bank depositors will likely "remain
under stress for some time to come,
but he cautioned Congress against
hastily passing legislation that
would only make the situation
worse.
Greenspan noted that the reserves
in the Federal Deposit Insurance
Fund now stand at their lowest level
ever as a string of near-record bank
failures has depleted FDIC reserves.
"There remain all too many
problems in the banking system,
problems that have been growing of
late as many banks, including many
larger banks, have been experiencing
a deterioration in the quality of their

loan portfolios, particularly real
estate loans," Greenspan told a
House committee.
"It thus seems clear that the
insurance fund likely will remain
under stress for some time to come,"
Greenspan said. "Moreover,
pressures would intensify if real
estate market conditions were to
weaken further or a recession were to
develop in the general economy."
Members of Congress, alarmed
by reports that the FDIC fund is in
trouble, have rushed to introduce
legislation to boost its reserves and
avert a bailout for the bank fund.
But Greenspan cautioned that
"while reform is needed, so is
caution."

r

by Elisabeth Weinstein
Daily Staff Writer
Yee Leng Hang may have one
strike against him in performing
his new job: he graduated from
Michigan State.
Hang is the new Asian-Ameri-
can representative in the Uni-
vesity's office of Minority Student
Services. He began the job August
13.
Hang's job entails helping stu-
dents program Asian-American
events on campus, and informing
and advising Asian-American stu-
dents. He says he can provide con-
tacts and resources for students.
However, his goals go beyond
his responsibilities. Hang hopes to
unite all the different Asian-Ameri-
can groups on campus through an
organization called United Asian-
American Organization (UAAO).
Hang, as well as some Asian stu-
dents say there is a lack of commu-
nication between different Asian
student groups.
"If I were to say there was no
friction (between groups) I'd be ly-
ing," says Hang. "Hopefully it
(UAAO) will serve as an umbrella
for all the Asian groups," he said.
Because he works with both
students and faculty, Hang'hopes he
can communicate student's desires
and needs to the faculty.

"I see myself as a construction'
worker. I want to strengthen the
bridge for students to cross it,'
Hang said. "I want to implement
programs which are beneficial to
the growth and welfare of students,",
says Hang.
He is compiling a directory of
Asian-American staff members so
students and staff can easily find,
support.
Asian-American students say
they are optimistic about Hang's ar-
rival to the University and have
high expectations for Hang.
David Im, LSA junior and vice
president of the Korean Student As-
sociation (KSA) said, "I would like
the different Asian Organizations to
be more united, and for communica,
tion to be better. I think what he
could do is organize groups so they
can work together."
Im says he thinks the new Asian
representative will be successful at
his job. "I like the fact that because
he's young he relates well to stu-
dents. He seems responsive and re-
ceptive to students."
Tom Fujita, a Rackham Gradu-
ate student and member of the Trot-
ter House staff, said Hang should be
a good resource person. Hang can
talk to all kinds of people such as
people from administration or
housing, he said.

KENNETH SMOLLER/DWIk
Yee Leng Hang, Minority Student Services' new Asian American
representative, discusses his plans for organizing the campus' Asian
American student groups.

Nuclear plant's

repairs worry residents

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) - The
Palisades nuclear power plant in
Covert, which has one of the worst
records in the nuclear power indus-
try, is undertaking two projects that
have some residents even more ner-
vous than usual.
The first project, for which the
plant is shutting down tomorrow,
will be replacement of its two steam
generators, using a method never
tried before at a U.S. nuclear plant.
Because the equipment door in
the containment building housing
the 480-ton generators is not large
enough to bring in the new genera-
tors, workers will have to cut a hole
28 feet by 26 feet in the steel and 3
1/2-inch thick concrete wall, plant
spokesperson Mark Savage said
yesterday.
The hole will not be repaired un-
til the switch is completed 37 days
later, he said. During that period,
negative air pressure created inside
the building and a rubber curtain
over the hole will prevent radioactiv-

ity from leaking, Savage said.
The plant on Lake Michigan will
be closed about four months during
the $100-million project, which will
include other maintenance.
But residents and nuclear-safety
activists are worried, saying the risk
or radioactive leaks is too great and
that not enough is known about the
process to be sure the hole is re-'
paired properly.
"If repairs are not done ade-
quately, the containment structure
could fail in the case of an accident,"
said Robert D. Pollard, a former Nu-
clear Regulatory Commission offi-
cial. He is now a nuclear safety en-
gineer with the Union of Concerned
Scientists, a non-profit group based
in Cambridge, Mass.
"Just because this has never been
done before there is an increased risk
that something could go wrong,"
Pollard said.
The procedure has been used once
before, however, at a nuclear plant in
Sweden, Savage said. Consumers

Powers Co., which owns the 780-
megawatt Palisades, sent engineers
there to study the project, he added.
The generators are being replaced
because of constant radioactive leaks,
which have prompted numerous
shutdowns and given Palisades one
of the worst records in the industry.
The old generators, which nuclear
officials thought would last 40 years
but are already corroded with radioac-
tivity, will be stored on plant prop-
erty.
"It's no secret that Palisades has
had a cloudy past," Savage said.
With the project, the plant's
biggest in its 19-year history, he
said "Palisades has the goal of being
one of the top nuclear performers in
the country."
Margaret Roche of Evanston, Ill.,
who spends four months a year at a
Lake Michigan cottage in the
shadow of the plant's reactor, isn't
so sure.
"We're concerned about the fact
that the plant has had such a poor

safety problem," she said. "I don't
know that we can trust them with
this."
No group has organized to protest
the project because many live there
only a few months a year and most
of the ones who do live there all year
depend on the plant for jobs, Roche
speculated.
NRC project manager Brian Ho-
lian said the procedure wasn't deemed*
dangerous enough to warrant pubfic
hearings, but that the site will be in-
spected throughout the shutdown pe-
riod.
During the Palisades shutdown,
consumers will buy power from
neighboring utilities to supply elec-
tricity to the estimated 570,000 cus-
tomers served by the plant through-
out Michigan.
Even more unsettling to many
residents around the plant is another
Palisades project scheduled to start
next fall.
Palisades, along with a growing
number of nuclear plants nationwide
is seeking to store spent fuel on site
in above-ground casks because it is
running out of room in its spent
fuel pools.

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