NRC ASLB to hear arguments about Vogtle nuclear project

A panel of administrative judges for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) will hear oral arguments March 15 about citizen group concerns connected with construction of Vogtle Units 3 and 4 that are being built in Georgia by Southern (NYSE:SO) its partners.

Before the board is a petition to intervene and request for a hearing, filed by Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) and its chapter Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff.

The arguments are scheduled in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court building in Augusta, Georgia.

The petition opposes the license amendment granted by the NRC in December that changes concrete wall tolerances for the two new Vogtle units. The petition contends that the granting of the amendment does not meet industry standards, does not meet worker radiation protection standards and has a disproportionate impact on Shell Bluff residents near the site.

This is part of an amended petition for leave to intervene and request for hearing by the citizen group.

The primary purpose of this oral argument is for the board to ask questions and receive answers concerning contention admissibility issues presented by the pleadings. As to each contention, the Petitioner shall have 15 minutes to present an introductory argument, and the NRC Staff and the Licensee shall each have 10 minutes as well.

In general, the participants should not repeat arguments already presented in their written filings, but should focus on responding to the Board’s questions. The argument is not an evidentiary hearing, and the participants therefore should not attempt to introduce evidence during the argument.

Southern utility subsidiary Georgia Power is the largest stakeholder in the Vogtle project. The utility’s co-owners include Oglethorpe Power, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, and the City of Dalton.

The case involves Docket Nos. 52-025 and 52-026; ASLBP No. 16-944-01-LA-BD01.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.