The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will hear oral arguments on April 15 concerning the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant’s proposal to build two new reactors north of Glen Rose.

    Plant opponents intervening in electric power generator Luminant’s application for a federal license to construct and operate Units 3 and 4 have raised issues about safety, costs and the impact on the environment. 

    The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. in the Jury Selection Room of the Hood County Justice Center, 1200 W. Pearl St., in Granbury. The session may be extended into the evening hours if necessary, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in its order.

    Members of the public may attend to observe. However, only representatives of Luminant Generation Co., the four intervenors and the NRC staff will be allowed to participate.

    The safety and licensing board granted intervenor status to the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition, Public Citizen, True Cost of Nukes and State Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth.

The three administrative judges hearing the arguments will be Ann Marshall Young, the chairman, and Dr. Gary S. Arnold and Dr. Alice C. Mignerey. Administrative judges are lawyers, engineers and scientists who conduct all licensing and other hearings as directed by the NRC.

They and other parties will visit the plant on April 16.

During the hearing, the panel will listen to arguments about whether to dismiss or amend some of the intervenors’ contentions, and on attempts by the intervenors to file additional contentions.

    Intervenors a year ago filed 19 contentions with the NRC challenging the adequacy of Luminant’s application to build and operate Comanche Peak Units 3 and 4.

    The safety and licensing board found that two of the contentions deserved further inquiry.

One is that “impacts from a severe radiological accident at any one unit” on operations of the other reactors “have not been and should be” considered in the environmental report filed by Luminant.

The other contention is that the environmental report did not include “consideration of alternatives to the proposed Comanche Peak Units 3 and 4, consisting of combinations of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, with technological advances in storage methods and supplemental use of natural gas, to create baseload power.”

All members of the public attending the hearing should allow extra time for security screening. NRC policy prohibits signs, banners, posters or displays in the hearing room.