Opponents Seek to Halt Nuclear Plant License

Shelley Kofler

Nuclear power opponents are asking the federal government to halt the licensing of two additional reactors at the Comanche Peak plant near Glen Rose. KERA's Shelley Kofler says reactor design is an issue.

Comanche Peak opponents claim the licensing process is flawed because the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would evaluate important safety factors at least two and a half years before it could approve the reactor design. The Mitsubishi reactors have never before been built and a small- scale model in Japan has had vibration problems.

Opponents believe the design should be certified before the NRC considers Luminant Energy's plans for radioactive waste disposal, terrorism safeguards, water use and financial risk.

Attorney Robert Eye represents opponents.

Eye: These differences we believe are so important that the rest of the licensing ought to be suspended, stayed until that reactor has been judged adequate by the NRC.

Luminent Energy's Alan Koenig says the process allows the NRC to be thorough

Koenig: In no way should be view that as a rushed process or a timeline that is out of wack. It's a very long and methodical process and we have faith in that process.

Koenig rejects claims that the utility hasn't considered clean energy alternatives, a licensing requirement. He says Luminant is the largest wind producer in the state.

The formal complaint is just the first step in a long detailed licensing process. The NRC says it could take up to 10 years to approve and build the reactors at a cost of up to $17 billion dollars.

NRC Schedule for Comanche Peak 3 & 4

Citizen Group Release Opposing Reactors 3 & 4

Listen to news story at KERA's site.

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