Citizens Oppose South Texas Project Expansion before
Atomic Safety and Licensing Board
Oral Hearing Set for June 23rd-June 24th in Bay City, TX
For Immediate Release
June 19, 2009
Karen Hadden, SEED Coalition, 512-797-8481
Robert V. Eye, Attorney for Petitioners, 785-224-0937
Tom "Smitty" Smith 512-797-8468 Public Citizen
Citizen opposition to more nuclear reactors in Texas continues. On June 23rd-24th an oral
hearing will be held before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and
Licensing Board on the Citizens' Petition to Intervene in South Texas Project (STP) Nuclear
Power Plant Units 3 and 4.
SEED Coalition, Public Citizen and South Texas Association for Responsible Energy are
petitioners seeking to intervene in the proposed expansion of South Texas Project.
"Building two more nuclear reactors at STP is not in the best interest of the local community,"
said Susan Dancer, a local wildlife rehabilitator. "Pursuing the most expensive and most water
intensive energy source in a time of extraordinary drought and economic recession makes no
sense. The local community will get stuck with more radioactive waste and bear heavy
infrastructure costs if the proposed reactors get built. The existing reactors have not solved
local economic problems." Dancer chairs the Bay City based organization South Texas
Association for Responsible Energy (STARE).
Attorney Robert V. Eye will represent the petitioners before the designated Atomic Safety and
Licensing Board Panel and argue the admissibility of the 28 contentions citizens filed with the
Nuclear Regulatory Commission on April 21st. These contentions point out the inadequacies
and the incompleteness of South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company's (STPNOC)
combined operating license application (COLA) to construct and operate South Texas Project
Units 3 and 4. NRG Energy and San Antonio's municipal utility CPS Energy are both
applicants for the proposed reactors, which fall within STPNOC.
"NRG has failed to comply with new federal regulations regarding aircraft impacts," stated
Mr. Eye. "These new regulations are very specific and require the applicant to plan for
catastrophic fires and/or explosions that would cause the loss of major critical functional
components in the plant. After 9-11, an aircraft attack on a nuclear power plant is a real and
credible threat. Moreover, fire hazards represent about half of the risk of a nuclear reactor
meltdown. NRG's noncompliance with these regulations puts citizens around South Texas
Project in a dangerous position, which is completely unacceptable."
"Nuclear power is dangerous, expensive and obsolete," said Karen Hadden, Executive
Director of Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition. "A recent
study by Clarence Johnson for Public Citizen predicted the real costs of this two unit plant
would be $20- $22 billion, or twice NRG's most recent estimate of $10 billion. CPS has
estimated the cost of energy efficiency would be 1/3 to 1/4 of what the study predicted these
new nuclear units will cost. Wind energy is booming and the cost of solar is coming down,
while the costs of proposed nuclear plants is skyrocketing. Although they're required to do so,
NRG and CPS failed to fully consider safer, more affordable alternatives to nuclear in their
"With Units 3 and 4, STP would increase forced evaporation by an additional 23,169 gallons
per minute and could withdraw that amount from the Colorado River to replace evaporated
water," said Dr. Lauren Ross of Glenrose Engineering. "STP's reliance on groundwater would
more than double with STP Units 3 and 4. The addition of two nuclear powered generators
would increase the average groundwater pumped by 1,242 gallons per minute" Dr. Ross's
report entitled "Water Quality and Quantity Impacts from Proposed South Texas Plant
Expansion" can be found at: http://nukefreetexas.org/downloads/ross_report.pdf
"NRG has no clue what they're going to do with the radioactive waste," said Tom "Smitty"
Smith, Director of Public Citizen's Texas office. "The United States Secretary of Energy,
Steven Chu, has stated that Yucca Mountain is no longer an option as a high level radioactive
waste repository. Without a federal repository, spent fuel will be stored onsite indefinitely.
Why would we generate more radioactive waste without first solving the problem of where to
The oral hearing begins Tuesday, June 23rd at 9 AM in Main Hall Room 100 of the Bay
City Civic Center, 201 7th St., Bay City, TX 77414. The hearing is open to the public.