NRC To Hold Online Public Meeting with Seabrook Owners March 19 on Emergency Response Cuts

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Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant

Proposed Cuts to Seabrook Station Emergency Response Resources at Inflection Point

Amesbury, Mass— The nuclear watchdog group C-10 Research and Education Foundation (C-10), joined by local, state, and U.S. Congressional leaders from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, have been calling for transparency in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s review of a proposal that makes severe cuts to the emergency response staffing resources at the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant. In response, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is set to hold a public meeting with Seabrook Station’s owners NextEra on Tuesday, March 19, at 10:00 am ET, which the public may observe via online video conferencing.

Full meeting information including the video conference link can be found at:

C-10 has been following this critical safety issue for a year and half, the time since NextEra submitted the original application in October 2022. In that time C-10 was been bringing awareness to elected officials at the local, state, and Congressional Level. C-10’s Executive Director Sarah Abramson is concerned about the truthfulness of statements made by NextEra recently in the news. Representatives from NextEra have responded in the press that these changes were simply to increase Seabrook Station’s bench strength in the case of an emergency. C-10’s Abramson refutes that, saying “Those types of statements are intentionally misleading. The request is clear that there will be at least 49 reductions in effectiveness stemming from reducing the number of trained staff on-site at Seabrook Station.” Abramson goes on to say, “If NextEra simply wanted to add the ability for all four of their nuclear plants to share emergency response resources, they could do so without making any cuts to on-site resources. But, that is not what is happening here, and that is why the NRC and FEMA have to be deeply involved in reviewing and approving these significant cuts.”

In an October 13, 2023 letter to the NRC, Abramson asked “How can the NRC be sure that any evidence supplied or study commissioned by NextEra is not skewed by their own confirmation bias which seeks to prove in any way possible that these deviations from current Emergency Planning regulations should be approved?” Abramson hopes to get answers to some of C-10’s questions in Tuesday’s public meeting.

In a December 22, 2023 letter to the NRC, U.S. Senators Markey (D-MA) and Warren (D-MA) had asserted that they “strongly believe that the NRC’s pending decision must prioritize public safety over potential cost savings for the operator.” In a December 5 letter the U.S. Congressional Delegation from New Hampshire clearly stood with their constituents when they wrote that they “urge [the NRC] to include an opportunity for the public to learn about the proposed plans and provide comments before NRC decides on the licensing amendment request.”

The plant’s owners NextEra have also faced sharp rebuke from the federal regulators, with the NRC writing in their prepared presentation for Tuesday’s meeting that “Currently NRC staff does not see sufficient justification for the discussed issues.”

C-10 has prepared a list of carefully thought out and well-researched questions for the public meeting, and plan to hold NextEra and the NRC accountable with their inquiries. The NRC has yet to issue its final decision approving or denying these cuts, which would result in further reductions in public health and safety for those living near Seabrook.

C-10 has identified these as the most salient legal points of interest:

  1. Emergency Response Organization Staffing Model would be reduced by 32%
    1. CURRENT STAFF IS – 47
    2. PROPOSED STAFF in the license amendment IS – 34
  2. Response Times – for staff augmenting the Emergency Response Organization – would increase from 60 minutes to 90 minutes for 12 roles
  3. 49 Potential Reductions in Effectiveness Identified, such as:
    1. increased response times for many roles
    2. reduction in the number of people required to hold certain roles (e.g. reducing radiation technicians from 2 to 1)
    3. complete elimination of certain emergency response roles


March 19, 10:00 AM ET Webinar Meeting Information:


The purpose of the meeting is to discuss a license amendment request submitted by NextEra Energy/Florida Power & Light that is currently under review. The amendment would consolidate the different sites’ emergency plans into one fleet emergency plan. The amendment also proposes changes to some of the staffing requirements and augmentation times for Point Beach Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2; Seabrook Station, Unit No. 1; St. Lucie Plant, Unit Nos. 1 and 2; and Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Unit Nos. 3 and 4.

Meeting Date and Time

03/19/24 10:00AM – 11:30AM ET

Webinar Link:

Webinar Meeting Number: 293 652 044 223

Webinar Password: ygpdUY

RELEVANT DOCUMENT LINKS (some were used in the above release text):

  • Letters of concern from C-10 and the MA and NH Congressional Delegations:
    • C-10’s Letter of Concern to the NRC (December 2023):
  • U.S. Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren (MA) (December 2023)
  • U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen, Maggie Hassan, U.S. Congresspeople Chris Papas, Annie Kuster (NH) (December 2023)
  • Documents from NextEra or the NRC as part of this License Amendment Request (LAR) (thousands of pages all reviewed by C-10):
    • Pre-Submittal PPT Slides (February and May 2022):
  • Initial application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (October 2022):
  • NextEra’s response to additional questions from NRC (November 2022):
  • NextEra’s additional response to more NRC questions (November 2023):
  • NRC’s PPT Slides to be presented at this upcoming March 19 meeting:

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