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April Showers Bring May Flowers, But In Texas, April is Nuclear Power Month

April 7th-9a.m
Licensing Board to Hear Oral Arguments on STP Application
Room 100 of the Main Hall in the Bay City Civic Center, 201 7th St., Bay City, TX.

April 15th- 9a.m.
Licensing Board to Hear Oral Arguments on Comanche Peak Application 
Jury Selection Room of the Hood County Justice Center, 1200 W Pearl St., Granbury, TX.

April 15th  -7 to 9:30 p.m
NRC Public Meeting regarding Exelon’s Early Site Permit Application.
 Mini Dome of the Victoria Community Center, 2905 E North St., Victoria, TX.  There will be an open house an hour prior to the meeting so members of the public have the opportunity to talk informally with agency staff.

April 7th    -  Licensing Board to Hear Oral Arguments on STP Application in Bay City, TX.

Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) panel will hear oral argument in the South Texas Project Combined License (COL) proceedings beginning at 9 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, April 7, in Room 100 of the Main Hall in the Bay City Civic Center, 201 7th St. in Bay City.

The ASLB is the independent body within the NRC that presides over hearings where the public can challenge proposed licensing and enforcement actions. The session is open for public observation, but participation will be limited to the parties admitted to the proceeding.  These include:

  • the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition, the South Texas Association for Responsible Energy, Public Citizen  —  who have submitted several objections, or contentions, against the STPNOC application,
  • the applicant — South Texas Nuclear Operating Company (STPNOC) — and
    • NRC staff).

Early arrival is suggested to allow for security screening for all members of the public interested in attending. NRC policy prohibits signs, banners, posters or displays in the hearing room.

STP submitted an application Sept. 20, 2007, seeking permission to construct and operate two new nuclear reactors at the South Texas Project site near Bay City.  The ASLB panel will hear oral argument on several points: motions to dismiss several of the groups’ contentions; amended versions of some contentions; and the groups’ attempt to file additional contentions.

For access to documents:

April 15th  -  Licensing Board to Hear Oral Arguments on Comanche Peak Application in Granbury, TX.

Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) panel will hear oral argument in the South Texas Project Combined License (COL) proceedings beginning at 9 a.m. CDT on Thursday, April 15, in the Jury Selection Room of the Hood County Justice Center, 1200 W Pearl St. in Granbury. The session may extend into the evening if necessary

The ASLB is the independent body within the NRC that presides over hearings where the public can challenge proposed licensing and enforcement actions. The session is open for public observation, but participation will be limited to the parties admitted to the proceeding.  These include:

  • the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition, Public Citizen, True Cost of Nukes, and State Representative Lon Burnam —  who have submitted several objections, or contentions, against Luminant’s application,
  • the applicant — Luminant — and
    • NRC staff.

Early arrival is suggested to allow for security screening for all members of the public interested in attending. NRC policy prohibits signs, banners, posters or displays in the hearing room.

Luminant submitted a COL application Sept. 19, 2008, seeking permission to construct and operate two new nuclear reactors at the Comanche Peak site near Glen Rose, Texas.  The ASLB panel will hear oral argument on several points: motions to dismiss several of the groups’ contentions; amended versions of some contentions; and the groups’ attempt to file additional contentions.

For access to documents:

April 15th  -  NRC Public Meeting regarding Exelon’s Early Site Permit Application.

Exelon has looked at building a plant in this area of Texas since 2007. It filed an early site permit application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on  March 25, 2010.  If approved by the NRC this would give Exelon three to 20 years to decide whether to build a plant in Victoria County. It can be extended for another 20 years, giving the company up to 40 years to begin construction from the time that the NRC approves the permit.

Once the early site permit application is submitted, it undergoes a three- to four-year review process by the NRC in which it will evaluate the project’s environmental impact and safety preparedness.

The NRC will hold a public meeting in the Mini Dome of the Victoria Community Center, 2905 E North St. in Victoria, from 7 to 9:30 p.m.  The meeting will consist of NRC staff presentations describing the overall ESP review process, which includes safety and environmental assessments, as well as how the public can participate in the process. The NRC will host an open house for an hour prior to the meeting so members of the public have the opportunity to talk informally with agency staff.

Water use figures prominently into the concerns of many. The Guadalupe River is the designated water source for the possible power plant, and Exelon has a water reservation agreement with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) that expires in 2013.

In the agreement with the GBRA, Exelon reserved 75,000 acre-feet of water every year.  The plant’s water use supercedes that of other water users, including the city of Victoria and farmers in the region.  Given other Texas river authorities’ concerns about adequate water availability coming of a 2 year drought, this should be a serious concern for the region.

More information on the NRC’s new reactor licensing process is available on the agency’s Web site at:  http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors.html

We strongly urge the public to attend this meeting.