ASLB to hold hearing on PSEG early site permit for potential reactor

The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will conduct a mandatory hearing Thursday, March 24, on an application for an Early Site Permit (ESP) at a site adjacent to the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear power plants in Salem County, N.J.

This hearing marks the final step in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s ESP review process. The board is the independent body within the NRC that conducts adjudicatory hearings and renders decisions on legal challenges to licensing actions.

The mandatory hearing will include testimony and exhibits from applicants PSEG Power, LLC, and PSEG Nuclear, LLC (PSEG), as well as NRC staff, on whether the staff’s environmental and safety reviews adequately support the findings necessary to issue the permit.

The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. on March 24 in the Board’s Hearing Room at NRC Headquarters, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Md. Members of the public and media are welcome to observe the hearing, but participation will be limited to the parties, lawyers and witnesses. Those planning to attend should arrive at least 15 minutes early to allow time for security screening, including searches of hand-carried items such as briefcases or backpacks.

Interested members of the public may submit written comments. These statements are not testimony or evidence, but may aid the board and the parties in considering the issues in the hearing. Written statements should be submitted to hearing.docket@nrc.gov before March 24.

An ESP allows an applicant to address site-related issues, such as environmental impacts, for possible future construction and operation of a nuclear power plant at the site. PSEG submitted the application on May 25, 2010. If approved, the permit would be valid for up to 20 years while PSEG decides whether to request an NRC license to build and operate a reactor at the site. More information on the PSEG ESP review is available on the NRC website.