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STP license renewal – Opportunity for public participation

On January 13th, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced the opportunity to request a hearing on an application to renew the operating licenses for the South Texas Project (STP) Units 1 and 2 which will expire on Aug. 20, 2027, and Dec. 15, 2028, respectively.

South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company, submitted the renewal application to the NRC on Oct. 25, 2010. When the agency receives a license renewal application and it is docketed three actions are triggered:

  • technical safety reviews
  • environmental reviews
  • an announcement of an opportunity for a hearing

The deadline for requesting a hearing is 60 days following the publication of a notice in the Federal Register.   This means, by March 14, petitions should be filed by anyone whose interest may be affected by the license renewal and who wishes to participate as a party in the proceeding.

At the time that the license expires, these plants will be 39 years old.  (to read a chronology of STP 1&2′s checkered past, click here)  At 23 and 24 years old, these plants may be showing signs of decline.  Most recently an outage at STP occurred in mid-November when unit 2 automatically shutdown due to an ”equipment failure”.  The unit was down for almost a month.  Also, all the spent rods are currently stored on site and STP has indicated they have enough room to continue on-site storage for the current two units for another 20 years.  That leaves about 4 years of storage left if the license is renewed.

These are significant concerns and if you are concerned and want to request a hearing, see below.

The notice includes detailed instructions for requesting a hearing through the NRC’s E-filing system’s electronic submittal page at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. For specific guidance and instructions on public involvement in hearings visit the link at: http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/regulatory/adjudicatory/hearing.html.

Information about the license renewal process can be found on the NRC website at http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/licensing/renewal.html. The STP license renewal application is available in the NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) public electronic reading room, under accession number ML103010256, online at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. Persons who do not have access to the internet or who encounter problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS should contact the NRC’s Public Document Room reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, extension 4737, or by e-mail to [email protected].

A copy of the license renewal application for the STP Units 1 and 2 is also available online at http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/licensing/renewal/applications/south-texasproject.html and to local residents near the site at the Bay City Public Library, 1100 7th St. Bay City, Texas.

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