Markey, Tierney Call for Local Public Meeting on Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant To Discuss Safety, Aging-Related Issues
April 13, 2012
Washington, DC – With recent inspections indicating possible long-term impacts to concrete degradation found in safety-related structures at the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant, Congressmen Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and John F. Tierney (D-Mass.), senior member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, today wrote the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) calling for a public meeting near Seabrook so those living and working the facility can fully understand the nature of the safety and aging-related problem. The degradation in safety-related concrete structures led NRC to send a letter to NextEra Energy Seabrook, the licensee for the Seabrook nuclear power plant, requesting it to attend a meeting at NRC headquarters in Maryland to discuss the issue on April 23, 2012. In June 2010 NextEra Energy applied for a twenty-year operating license for Seabrook that would begin in 2030 and end in 2050.
“If safety structures that are supposed to help cool the Seabrook nuclear power plant are experiencing such alarming degradation during the reactor’s ‘adolescence’, there is simply no way that the NRC can guarantee that it will remain safe when it enters its ‘golden years’ almost 40 years from now,” write Reps. Markey and Tierney to the NRC. “We also believe that any failure to conduct a second public meeting on the topic at a location near the Seabrook facility would further undermine the public trust in the Commission’s ability and willingness to assure the safety of the reactor.”
A copy of the letter to the NRC can be found HERE.
In November 2011, Reps. Markey and Tierney wrote the NRC urging it to take immediate steps to address problems related to the dissolution of concrete in safety-related systems at nuclear power plants. A Boston Globe story reported that the concrete surrounding a safety-related tunnel at the Seabrook nuclear power plant had lost 22 percent of its strength due to water seepage and saturation over the past decade.
In June 2011, Reps. Markey and Tierney called on the NRC to deny a 20-year relicense application for the Seabrook nuclear power plant that would begin in 2030 and end in 2050. The lawmakers also called on the NRC to disallow all requests for 20-year license extensions that are filed as early as 20 years prior to license expiration for any operating U.S. nuclear reactor.