Public meetings about Comanche Peak set

September 21, 2010

Jack Z. Smith
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Sept. 21–Anyone wanting to weigh in on the potential environmental impact of expanding the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant will have an opportunity in public meetings this afternoon and tonight in Glen Rose.

The meetings, held by staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, will be from 1 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Glen Rose Expo Center, 202 Bo Gibbs Blvd.

In addition, NRC staffers will be available for informal discussions with the public during “open house” sessions from noon to 1 p.m. and from 6 to 7 p.m. at the center, immediately preceding the three-hour meetings.

The NRC staff is seeking comments on its preliminary finding that there are no environmental grounds to preclude issuing combined construction and operating licenses to electric power generator Luminant for the addition of two reactors at Comanche Peak, four miles north of Glen Rose and 45 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

The NRC’s preliminary finding is contained in a draft environmental impact statement filed with the Environmental Protection Agency.

An opponent of the expansion, the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition, is expected to address the preliminary finding.

Luminant plans to more than double Comanche Peak’s generating capacity by adding two 1,700-megawatt reactors for an estimated $15 billion to $20 billion.

A three-member panel of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board has scheduled an Oct. 28 hearing for oral arguments on the contentions of the SEED Coalition and other opponents that renewable energy, such as wind power with backup natural gas-fired generation, is a more attractive option than expanding Comanche Peak. That hearing is set for 9 a.m. at the Hood County Justice Center, 1200 W. Pearl St. in Granbury.

Plant opponents argue that an expanded Comanche Peak would be a huge water consumer, create more radioactive waste and be a potentially vulnerable target for terrorists.

Luminant has countered that an expanded plant would recycle water, be secure, could handle additional nuclear waste and would have a major economic impact by providing jobs and tax revenue for local governments.

Jack Z. Smith, 817-390-7724

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