Nuclear commission solicits info on SHINE project
July 17, 2013
JANESVILLE--Nuclear Regulatory Commission staffers came to Janesville on Wednesday to get public input on environmental issues related to the proposed construction and operation of a medical isotope plant.They left with only a handful of comments after two meetings at Rotary Botanical Gardens.John Lubinski, director of the commission's Division of License Renewal Office, said Wednesday's meetings were the first attempt to gather public input on a construction permit submitted by SHINE Medical Technologies.SHINE is working toward regulatory approval of an $85 million production plant on the city's south side that will use low-enriched uranium to produce molybdenum-99, a medical isotope used in more than 30 kinds of diagnostic imaging procedures performed more than 50,000 times each day in the United States.As part of its application for a construction permit, SHINE submitted its environmental report in March and its preliminary safety report in May.The commission will review both concurrently in a process that could take 18 to 24 months. If the NRC approves a permit, SHINE hopes to hire 150 people and begin isotope production in 2016.Lubinski said the commission will use SHINE's information as a basis for its own exhaustive review that will lead to an environmental impact statement ahead of a permitting decision."You know the community, you know the concerns and you know what the local issues are," Lubinski said. "We want to know that as well."No one commented publicly at the second meeting, while a couple of people did fill out comment cards. Lubinski said a handful of people spoke at the first session earlier Wednesday.Commission staffers will visit Janesville later this month for an environmental audit of the site on Highway 51. They then will prepare a draft environmental impact study and will once again invite public comment.Lubinski said the commission also is considering public meetings in Janesville to gather comments on the safety aspects of SHINE's proposed plant."We will only issue a final permit if we find the application protects public health and safety, promotes common defense and security and protects the environment," he said.