Licensing board to hold evidentiary hearing starting on Oct. 15 in Tarrytown NY on Indian Point license renewal contentions

Three judges of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel (ASLBP) will conduct an evidentiary hearing starting on Monday, Oct. 15, addressing 10 technical and environmental challenges to the pending Indian Point nuclear power plant license renewal application. The application was submitted by Entergy Nuclear Operations Inc., the owner and operator of the plant, which is located in Buchanan (Westchester County), N.Y.

The issues to be considered have been raised by three intervenors: the State of New York and two public interest organizations, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Inc. and Riverkeeper Inc. In addition to these intervenors, several governmental bodies have been granted status as participants in the proceeding.

The ASLBP, the independent judicial arm of the NRC, will hold the hearing over the course of several weeks: Oct. 15-18, Oct. 22-24 and Dec. 10-14. The Oct. 15th session will begin at 1 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel, at 455 South Broadway in Tarrytown, N.Y.

The three judges assigned to conduct this proceeding will hear testimony from expert witnesses and then issue a ruling at a later date. This proceeding will be different from a typical court proceeding in that the parties have pre-filed their direct testimony and exhibits. Therefore, the evidentiary hearing will be a forum in which the judges will ask questions of the parties’ witnesses in order to clarify the testimony and exhibits they have already reviewed.

This will be a formal adjudicative proceeding and therefore courtroom decorum will be observed throughout the hearing. The judges will ask questions of the witnesses who have been presented by the parties and solicit arguments on legal issues from the attorneys representing the hearing participants. Members of the public will not have an opportunity to speak during this hearing. Also, consistent with ASLBP rules on the conduct of such hearings, signs and placards will not be permitted in the hearing room and only accredited members of the media will be permitted to bring cameras or recording devices into the hearing.

In addition, all members of the public will be screened by security before being granted entry into the hearing room. Accordingly, in order to facilitate entry, individuals wishing to attend the hearing are urged not to bring unnecessary items to the proceeding.

Members of the public may enter the hearing room on Oct. 15 starting at 12:30 p.m. On each of the remaining days of the hearing, the public may enter the hearing room beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Entergy submitted its application for a 20-year extension of the Indian Point operating license on April 30, 2007. The initial 40-year operating licenses for Indian Point Units 2 and 3 are due to expire on Sept. 28, 2013 and Dec. 12, 2015, respectively. However, those initial licenses will remain in effect until the Commission has issued a final ruling on the renewal application.