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2 Anti-Nuclear Groups to Join in Hearings

December 21, 1989

An administrative law judge for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has admitted two anti-nuclear groups as parties in the proposed relicensing of the nuclear "hot lab" at Rockwell International's Santa Susana Field Laboratory southeast of Simi Valley.

In a recent order, Judge Peter B. Bloch granted intervenor status to the Natural Resources Defense Council, based in Washington, D.C., and the Los Angeles chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. They join four local residents previously granted intervenor status.

The intervenors, all of whom oppose Rockwell's request, are permitted to file written evidence and take part in any negotiations aimed at settling the license case.

Rockwell is seeking a one-year extension of its NRC license to operate the hot lab, a heavily shielded workshop where highly radioactive materials are handled by remote control. The company originally sought a 10-year renewal but scaled back the request because of local opposition and flagging business for the hot lab.

The hot lab is the only building at Santa Susana under NRC license, and the outcome will not affect other parts of the site in the Simi Hills, where Rockwell handles radioactive materials for the U.S. Department of Energy. Under the Atomic Energy Act, the DOE functions as customer and monitor of nuclear operations in the areas under its control.

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