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NRC Panel Will Hold Hearing On Indian Point Relicensing

The NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel will conduct an evidentiary hearing on Monday, Nov. 16, regarding three safety-related challenges to the Indian Point nuclear power plant’s license renewal application.
The NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel will conduct an evidentiary hearing on Monday, Nov. 16, regarding three safety-related challenges to the Indian Point nuclear power plant’s license renewal application. Photo Credit: File photo

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Three judges of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel will conduct an evidentiary hearing on Monday, Nov. 16, regarding three safety-related challenges to the Indian Point nuclear power plant’s license renewal application.

Entergy, which owns and operates the Buchanan (Westchester County), plant, is seeking 20-year extensions of the operating licenses for Indian Point Units 2 and 3. The hearing will take place at noon at the DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown.

The issues to be considered have been raised by New York State and Riverkeeper Inc. and include:

● Whether Energy’s license renewal application is deficient because it fails to include an adequate aging management program for embrittlement of the reactor pressure vessels and the associated internals.

● Whether the application is deficient because it fails to include an adequate aging management program for metal fatigue on key reactor components.

● Whether the application is deficient because the company fails to demonstrate that it has a program that will manage the effects of aging of several critical components or systems.

During the evidentiary hearing, there will be testimony by expert witnesses representing the challengers, Energy and the NRC staff. The panel will rule on the issues at a later date.

This proceeding will differ from a typical court proceeding in that the parties have pre-filed their direct testimony and exhibits. Specifically, the 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.

All members of the public will be screened by security prior to being granted entry into the hearing room; the public is not allowed to ask questions or testify during the hearing.

The ASLB panel previously conducted a hearing at the same location in the fall of 2012 on safety and environmental contentions identified as “Track 1” issues. The Nov. 16 hearing will involve safety contentions identified as “Track 2” issues that were not dealt with during that earlier proceeding.

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

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