Public can voice opinions on STP expansion
Nuclear Regulatory Commission to hold second round of meetings

Justin Buehler - Matagorda Advocate
January 31, 2008 - 10:40 a.m.

The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission has scheduled another round of public meetings to discuss the South Texas Project's combined license application for Unit 3 and Unit 4.

The first meeting will be held at 1:30 p.m on Feb. 5. The second one will take place at 7 p.m on the same day. Both will be held at the Bay City Civic Center.

Chip Cameron, facilitator for the forum, said the purpose of the meetings is to hear the public's comments.

"It's just an informal opportunity for the people to talk to the NRC staff, the license applicant and advocacy groups," Cameron said.

When asked what advocacy groups planned on attending, he didn't have any specifics, but he implied space would be available to accommodate groups such as Public Citizen and the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. Mitch Thames, president of the Bay City Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture, echoed Cameron's statement earlier in the week.

"We will establish a location, a perimeter, a prominent spot on the civic center property for any protests that might want to take place," Thames said.

Cyrus Reed, state conservation director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, said his organization hadn't made any definitive plans to attend the meeting, but he was quick to point out his organization's view on nuclear expansion.

"The Sierra Club continues to oppose the expansion of nuclear power," Reed said, before adding, "It's certainly a concern of the club."

He said those concerns revolve around water availability and the disposal of waste at nuclear facilities.

"One of the major issues is: 'What do you do with the waste?'" Reed said, speaking specifically about low and high levels of waste.

Cameron said that's one of the purposes of the meetings: to answer questions about environmental issues.

Tom Smith, state director, Texas office for Public Citizen, said he plans on attending the meeting too. One of the questions he would like to see answered is: "Will the plant be subject to storm surges?" he said.

This is just one of nearly a dozen issues that Public Citizen has, he said.

For those that want to speak at the meetings, Cameron said a sign-up sheet would be available near the entrance of the meeting room on Feb. 5.

Justin Buehler is a reporter for the Matagorda Advocate. Contact him at 979-244-1330

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