NRC Holding Public Meeting Feb. 13 on Seabrook License Extension

The Massachusetts congressional delegation, U.S. Sens. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Congressman Seth Moulton, had called on the NRC to hear community concerns and address ongoing safety issues before renewing or amending the license for the plant.

Three weeks after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission agreed to delay granting a 20-year license extension for the Seabrook nuclear power plant and to hear comments from the community about the possible extension, NRC's staff will hold a public meeting Feb. 13 in Hampton, N.H., to provide information on the licensing actions involving Seabrook Station.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the Best Western Plus – The Inn at Hampton, 815 Lafayette Road. Registration for anyone seeking to speak at the meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m.

NextEra Energy Resources, owner and operator of the plant, applied to the NRC in June 2010 for a 20-year license extension for the facility. In notifications issued on Jan. 11, 2018, the NRC staff indicated it intended to issue a license amendment on concrete degradation at the plant on or about Jan. 22 and a renewed license for Seabrook on or about Jan. 30. The agency said "in response to significant public interest, the staff issued new notifications on Jan. 22 stating that the issuance of the licensing actions was being delayed and that staff intended to meet with the public to discuss the planned actions."

Some of that public interest came from the Massachusetts congressional delegation. U.S. Sens. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Congressman Seth Moulton called on the NRC to hear community concerns and address ongoing safety issues before renewing or amending the license for the plant. In their letter to the NRC, the lawmakers expressed concern with how the Seabrook plant operator plans to monitor, assess, and address structural degradation at the plant caused by alkali-silica reaction.

"We are pleased to see that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has decided to prioritize public involvement when reviewing the applications to amend and renew the Seabrook Nuclear Plant operating license, as we requested last week," the Massachusetts lawmakers said in a statement after the public meeting was announced. "Local communities and concerned stakeholders have the right to be heard in this process. By rethinking its decision to approve the amendment and renewal before public hearings could take place, the NRC will now give community members the chance they deserve to highlight concerns over degraded concrete at the plant. We will be continuing to monitor the license amendment and renewal process closely, in order to ensure that Seabrook's operations are held to the highest standard of transparency and safety."

Seabrook's initial 40-year operating license runs from 1990 to 2030.

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