Matagorda residents voice support for South Texas Project license renewal

By adriana_acosta

March 2, 2011 at 5:03 p.m.
Updated March 1, 2011 at 9:02 p.m.

BAY CITY - Don Booth is a supporter of South Texas Project.

He was one of the many who helped construct South Texas Project Units 1 and 2 in 1984.

Booth and other Matagorda County residents attended the Nuclear Regulatory Commission public meeting Wednesday and showed support for the South Texas Project Nuclear Operating application to renew the operating licenses for Units 1 and 2 reactors.

"This meeting is very important because having this plant here will generate jobs," he said. "This plant is good for the county and Texas."

NRC staff listened as residents commented on the nuclear plant.

Of the about 50 people who attended the afternoon meeting, no one spoke against the license renewal.

A second meeting was held Wednesday night. The meetings last about three hours each.

Among those who supported the renewal was Congressman Ron Paul, R - Surfside Beach.

"STP has been an integral part of the 14th congressional district and the Matagorda County community for more than 20 years, producing clean, safe and reliable electricity to 2 million homes," said Dianna Kile, deputy district director who spoke on Paul's behalf.

"With the challenges of climate change, Congressman Paul believes that nuclear energy must play a role in our state's energy future for decades to come," she said.

Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald also spoke in support of the renewal.

"I am well in favor of the renewal of operating licenses," he said. "They have proven their value to the county and to the state of Texas over their last 25 years of operation."

McDonald said the nuclear plant is something that the ERCOT grid needs for all of the citizens of Texas and the counties need for continued prosperity.

"I have worked with the nuclear plant in a lot of levels each week, they are good neighbors and I am looking forward to the NRC considering the license renewal process," he said.

STP submitted its renewal application in October. Under NRC regulations, the original operating license for a nuclear power plant has a term of 40 years. The license may be renewed for up to an additional 20 years if NRC requirements are met.

If approved, the current operating license for STP Units 1 and 2, would be extended to 2047 and 2048.

"This is the first of several opportunities for public participation during the course of our evaluation of the South Texas license renewal application," said Bo Pham, branch chief in the NRC's Division of License Renewal. "Public input is important to the process and all of the comments we receive will be considered as we move forward with our review."

Others in support included the Mark Bricker, mayor of Bay City.

"This facility produces safe, reliable energy to the citizens of Texas. The license extension of STP will continue to provide jobs and economic benefits to our local community," he said.



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