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Published: Wednesday, 8/18/2004

Notice is slim as NRC tells activists no

Activists who had fought against the restart of FirstEnergy Corp. s Davis-Besse nuclear plant reacted angrily to the manner which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission chose to dismiss their case yesterday.

The Nuclear Information & Resource Service in Washington was upset that its attorney in Toledo, Terry Lodge, was given less than a day s notice to get to the agency s headquarters in suburban Washington for an important meeting.

The group has sought a hearing on the NRC s decision to allow the Davis-Besse nuclear plant to resume operation in March. At yesterday s meeting, the NRC upheld an earlier decision rejecting such a hearing.

Mr. Lodge said he read an e-mail about the meeting from the NRC at 8:30 a.m. yesterday, less than an hour before the Davis-Besse discussion began at 9:25.

They have shown disregard for [public participation] before, but I think we set a new record, Paul Gunter, group spokesman, said.

A federal licensing board had rejected a request for a hearing. The NRC s governing board yesterday announced its three members had upheld that board s decision.

Even if Mr. Lodge had been able to make the trip, he wouldn t have been allowed to speak.

Eliot Brenner, NRC public affairs director, said the meeting was scheduled weeks ago as one in which recent decisions would be announced. No public comments were accepted.

Mr. Brenner said the Davis-Besse decision was added to the agenda Monday. But he said the meeting met federal requirements for open meetings.

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