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Nuclear Opponents Oppose Fast Tracking

By Shelley Kofler, KERA News

Dallas, TX – Opponents to expanding the Comanche Peak Nuclear plant southwest of Dallas say they are preparing a legal case. They say the federal government is fast-tracking the plant application and citizens will have little opportunity to weigh in. KERA's Shelley Kofler has more.

On Thursday the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the NRC, posted a notice that triggered a countdown. Now the public has just 60 days to comment on Luminant Energy's application to add two nuclear reactors to the two already operating at Comanche Peak near Glen Rose.

Hadden: This process to get the license is moving incredibly quickly

Karen Hadden is director of SEED, the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition. She says that under the 60 day rule citizens will have to quickly file their concerns about a reactor design not yet approved by the NRC, and about the construction and operation of reactors which are many years from completion.

Hadden says her group wants the opportunity to comment on individual phases of development as the occur.

Hadden: There used to be a break in there so if construction was faulty or shoddy it could be corrected before an operating license was granted. Right now it's all combined into one. This is really putting safety and security risks on the burner.

Hadden says plant opponents are preparing a legal case claiming the public input process is flawed. The NRC could not be reached for comment. Luminant Energy says the two new reactors would provide enough electricity to power 1.8 million average Texas homes.

Send E-mail to Shelley Kofler