Citizens laud NRC local meeting choice

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission has scheduled an Oct. 20 meeting in Pismo Beach to hear public comments about changes to generic nuclear power plant license renewal requirements.

The meeting will be held at the Best Western Shore Cliff Lodge, 2555 Price St. An open house will begin at 5 p.m. during which NRC personnel will answer questions, followed at 7 p.m. by the formal hearing.

Activists and elected officials alike are praising the decision to hold the hearing locally. Originally, it had been scheduled for Westlake Village, a suburb of Los Angeles more than 100 miles away.

The Westlake Village location had been selected as a halfway point between Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and San Onofre nuclear generating station in Southern California. The public said that location was inconvenient and few would attend.

“Long, late drives during rush hour traffic are no incentive for public participation,” said David Weisman, outreach coordinator for the San Luis Obispo-based Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility.

County Supervisor Adam Hill, Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, Rep. Lois Capps and Sen. Barbara Boxer expressed their displeasure at the Westlake Village location. A separate meeting is planned in Dana Point for San Onofre neighbors.

“I am pleased that my constituents will again be able to provide significant insight into the future management of nuclear power security and safety,” Capps, D-Santa Barbara, said.

The NRC is proposing revisions to the number and scope of environmental impact issues that must be addressed in any nuclear power plant license renewal review. Issues specific to individual power plants are addressed at the time of license renewal.

Reach David Sneed at 781-7930.