Archive for June 14th, 2011

Becky Motal has just been named the first female to become general manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority in its 76-year history.

Motal, executive manager of external affairs, was chosen by a unanimous vote of the LCRA board of directors and assumes the helm of the energy and water management agency effective July 2. She replaces Tom Mason who is resigning July 1.

The news ends speculation that Ken Armbrister, the former Texas senator and current legislative director for Gov. Rick Perry, would be chosen for the job.

We don’t know much about Ms. Motal, but will post more as we learn more about her history.

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Residents living near the WCS low-level radioactive waste dump in Andrews County in West Texas near the New Mexico border will soon be asked to complete a health survey commissioned by state environmental and health officials and conducted by the University of North Texas to assess about 24,000 people who live within a 35-mile radius of Waste Control Specialists LLC’s site.

The survey, which was part of legislation passed in 2003, will provide a baseline assessment before material is buried for the first time at the site later this year. Letters encouraging residents to participate will go out in the next few days and the results will not be made public.

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An Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) will hear oral argument on June 27, via teleconference, on the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development [SEED] Coalition’s request to participate in the South Texas Project operating reactor license renewal proceeding. The ASLB is the independent body within the NRC that presides over hearings where the public can challenge proposed licensing and enforcement actions.

Oral arguments will begin at 10 a.m. EDT on Monday, June 27, and the Board expects the session will conclude by noon. The session is open for public observation, but participation will be limited to the parties in the proceeding (the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development [SEED] Coalition, the applicant – South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company [STPNOC] – and NRC staff).

Members of the public interested in listening to the oral arguments should contact ASLB staffer Jonathan Eser (301-415-5880 or [email protected]) for the telephone number and passcode.

NOTE: STPNOC submitted an application Oct. 28, 2010, to renew the licenses for both South Texas Project reactors near Bay City, Texas. The NRC’s environmental and safety evaluations of the application are underway. The current license for South Texas Project Unit 1 expires Aug. 20, 2027, and the license for Unit 2 expires Dec. 15, 2028. Documents related to the South Texas Project license renewal application are available on the NRC website.

The ASLB is considering the SEED Coalition’s petition to intervene in the proceeding, including the group’s objections, or contentions, against STPNOC’s application. The ASLB will hear oral argument on several aspects of the petition. Documents pertaining to the ASLB proceeding are available in the agency’s electronic hearing docket. More information about the ASLB is available on the NRC website.

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