Hope that I’ll be able to send this. So far, the internet service here has been sketchy at best. I’m at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and they don’t seem to be used to having guests with a laptop.
To backtrack a bit, this is day two of the evidentiary hearing in front of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board concerning the application for two new reactors at the South Texas Projecct. (Note: The plant used to be known as the South Texas Nuclear Project, but NRG, the plant’s owner, dropped the scary word a few years ago. I still use the full original name whenever possible, as I don’t won’t the South Texas Project to be confused with, say, the Alan Parsons Project.)
Anyway, the administrative judges are considering a couple of contentions filed by Austin’s Sustainable Energy and Econcomic Development (SEED) Coalition and Public Citizen Texas. Yesterday, the board heard arguments on a contenion that the company ownership of the South Texas Nuclear Project violates regulations barring foreign corporations from owning or controlling U.S. nuclear power plants. Since NRG announced in April that it was withdrawing from ownership of the two new South Texas reactors, that leaves the project owned and controlled by Toshiba, a Japanese corporation. The panel has not yet ruled on the admissibility of this contention.
Today, the panel is listening to testimony on a contention by SEED and Public Citizen that the application for the new reactors did not adequately include an analysis of the costs of purchasing alternative power if the new units are not approved.
I’m going to try to break these posts up into digestible chunks. I’ll post again later with a progess report