Science, Health and Technology
5:45 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Nuclear Regulatory Commission holds meetings on Callaway reactor

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission held a pair of public meetings Wednesday to get input on the license renewal for the Callaway nuclear reactor.                

The license for the Callaway nuclear reactor doesn’t expire until 2024, but the application has already been filed for a 20 year extension to that license. As one of the first steps in that process, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission held a pair of public meetings Wednesday to explain the license process and receive input on their environmental review.

Bill Johnson, the Director of Administration for the city of Fulton, spoke in favor of the license renewal during the public comment period at the afternoon meeting.

"The citizens of Fulton like the Ameren plant where it is. We like the operation, we like the staffing, we like the safety levels. We’ve had a very positive relationship with the nuclear plant for the 27 years it’s been I operation and for the 10 years before that it was under construction," he said.

But not all comments on the process were positive. Ed Smith is the Safe Energy Director for the Missouri Coalition for the Environment; he spoke against several aspects of the application, including the short window for filing public comments.

"So while we believe it is appropriate for the NRC to hold public meetings in order to explain the license renewal process to the public, it is unreasonable and unfair to require the public to comment on this 1,200-page, highly technical license renewal application, and a 400 page, highly technical environmental report," he said.

The commission is accepting comments on the application for only 60 days, until April 24. A decision on the license application is much further in the future: the commission’s deadline for that is December 2013.