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I received your letter and questions of November 19, 1986. As you are aware, I have already on two separate occasions granted you the courtesy of complete responses to your inquiries relative to the licensing procedures of the Seabrook Power Station. My last submission was transmitted to you for presentation at the November 18, 1986 hearing. In fact, at that time Bruce Mohl, Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Hampshire, was prepared to address all the issues raised in your inquiries to me made prior to the hearing. Yet, you chose to severely limit Attorney General Mohl's testimony and disregard my written submission.
Nevertheless, in reference to your new set of questions, your charge that I requested involvement of the White House to expedite the scheduled February 26, 1986 exercise of the Emergency Response Plan is ridiculous and unfounded. As I noted in my previous submission, the State of New Hampshire did contact representatives of the respective federal agencies to expedite the review process and the exercise, which under the law is their obligation. In light of your baseless charges that you possess information from FEMA Indicating pressure from me through the White House, please submit to me all information that you claim to have to substantiate these irresponsible allegations. In fact, it is quite clear from the statements made to you and your staff by the Region I Director and the Chief of the Natural and Technological Hazardous Division that no such pressure took place.
I do, however, wish to emphasize two important points relative to this issue. The first is that it is absolutely appropriate, in fact an obligation, that the State of New Hampshire make sure that the best Emergency Response Plans are developed, reviewed, evaluated and approved by the appropriate authorities in the most expeditious and timely manner.
It is inappropriate that any Federal agency fail to provide timely evaluations or responses especially if that failure is because of difficulties in allocating internal resources. And, it would be perfectly appropriate for me as Chief Executive of the State of New Hampshire to encourage responsible, timely and effective participation by all State and Federal agencies involved.
The Honorable Edward J. Markey
Secondly, consistent with the perspective noted, appears that some very constructive support was provided to make sure that the interest of the New England ratepayers was protected. This apparent involvement is described in the enclosed article from the "Energy Daily“ dated April 11, 1986. Described therein is the apparent, very valid concern by House Speaker Tip O'Neill. That concern and any action that followed from his concern that delays would produce significant escalation of costs to New England ratepayers was certainly proper for the Speaker. In that spirit, I find the implications contained in your third question clearly inappropriate.
In reference to your question on the ten-mile zone, as I indicated in my earlier testimony, the State of New Hampshire continues to support the Ten-Mile Emergency Planning Zone (EP2) and in fact, recognizes that it is both the responsibility and the authority of the NRC to determine the specific nature of response and levels of response within the ten-mile EPZ.
Finally, relative to your last question, I do not believe that it is constructive for me to answer a question which asks me to assume that I were Governor Dukakis.
Thank you very much for this opportunity to comment on the issues.
John H. Sununu
BY BILL RANKIN
One way to solve the problem
used to build them, he said. "The
(Continued on page 5)
The Seabrook nuclear power plant may have to shut down in July and August during its first two years of operation because of problems with its emergency evacuation plan. The glitch: Seabrook is near several Massachusetts beaches which are crowded during the summer. The access roads to the shore are small and narrow and cannot be expanded because they are surrounded by wetlands. “We'd be glad to expand them but, as you know, you can't touch anything to do with the ecology of the marshes," says John Eichorn, chairman of Eastern Utilities Associates (EUA).
Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis and state attorney general Frank Bellotti have offered a proposal that the plant's owners could live with, said Eichorn, who is also chairman of Seabrook's executive committee. The state will approve the plant's emergency evacuation plan-necessary before the plant can receive its full-power operating license-if Seabrook closes down during July and August of 1987 and 1988. By then, the state officials say they expect to have found a solution to the beach problem.
"That sounds crazy doesn't it?" Eichorn asked a group of security analysts in New York on Wednesday. "But it isn't. Until that offer was made by the Governor, we couldn't see any resolution to the problem of the beaches.... If that is the resolution, we think that (Seabrook) will go forward.... If we don't take it, we're not going to have Seabrook anyway. It's better to have it for the other 10 months than not to have it at all."
The 1.150-megawatt nuclear plant is roughly 98 percent complete. Its owners reckon the plant will begin commercial operation this Oc. tober-if the Massachusetts evacuation plan goes forward. EUA, head. quartered in Boston, has a lot at stake in Seabrook. Montaup Electric Co., EUA's wholesale generating subsidiary, owns three percent of the project. And EUA Power Corp., an EUA subsidiary headquartered in New Hampshire, is trying to buy another 12 percent share of the plant.
Shutting down during the two summer months "is something we should give very serious consideration to," Eichorn said. "In July and August 1988, we'll be in a refueling
O'NEILL: "Take care of ini boss.
A recent visit to Capitol Hill by executives from Eastern Utilities Associates (EUA) proved once again that it pays to have friends in high places.
In mid-February, the owners of the Seabrook Unit 1 nuclear power station were ready to test their emergency response plan in New Hampshire. The drill was scheduled for February 26. But thanks to delays by intervenors, the Massachusetts cities that would be affected by an accident at Seabrook were not ready.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which oversees these exercises, wanted to delay the test, reckoning it could save money by so doing.
But John Eichorn, chairman of Eastern Utilities and Seabrook's executive committee, was adamantly opposed to any delay. So, he recently told a group of security analysts in New York, he went to Washington for help.
"As you know, we have a rather distinguished congressman from the state of Massachusetts known as Tip O'Neill (Speaker of the House)," Eichorn told the analysis. "We visited him in Washington and told him about our problems. He said, 'Well gosh, fellas, don't talk about budget. I'm up to here in budgets and don't want to talk anymore about it.' So we said, 'Well, Tip. maybe there just could be some movement of funds so that we can take care of the problem.' He said, 'Well, that's up to Eddie Boland (the Massachusetts Democrat who's ranking majority member of the House Appropriations Committee). I'll tell you what I'll do though. I'll get Eddie up here this afternoon if you fellas will wait around and come back.'"
The Eastern Utilities executives did as they were instructed. When they returned to the Speaker's office, this time with Boland in attendance, "we talked more about hockey and a few other things," Eichorn said. Finally, O'Neill suggested they tell Boland about their problem.
So Eichorn told Boland that every month Seabrook is delayed will cost the plant owners $50 million. At that point, “Tip looked up and said, 'By golly. that's going to cause our kids' electric bills to go up, ain't it?' And I said. 'Yep.' He said, 'Eddie, take care of my boys, will you? Just take care of my boys."
The result? "We got our test on February 26," Eichorn recounted.