Anti-Nuclear advocates will ring in the New Year with a hearing down in Rockville, Maryland. The subject? The Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant in Ocean County's Lacey Township.

Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant (Exelon)

Representatives from several groups will be able to offer comments directly to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Review Board, related to a petition for additional testing at the facility. Oyster Creek happens to be the nation's oldest nuclear generator and is scheduled to be in operation till 2019. The group Grandmothers Mothers and More For Energy Safety, or GRAMMIES, first raised issue following October's Superstorm Sandy.

NRC Spokesman Neil Sheehan says "this is an opportunity for the petitioner to provide further details to the NRC and the NRC staff is in the listening mode. We will take everything that is discussed into consideration."

During the refueling and maintenance outage, "indications" (precursors to cracks) were found in the reactor nozzle and a pinhole leak was located in the reactor vessel. Both issues were repaired prior to returning Oyster Creek to service. The group feels more testing needs to be done to ensure public safety.

In November, the NRC rejected GRAMMIES effort to delay the restarting of the plant during a planned outage period. Sheehan tells Townsquare Media News "they determined that they didn't have a regulatory reason for keeping the plant shut down. However, while we did not believe we needed to keep the plant shut down to review those actions, the staff will look at and determine whether we need to have the company do further reviews on other issues."

The meeting will take place at the NRC's headquarters but members of the petition and the public will be able to phone in to listen.

The public is invited to observe the meeting and will be able to ask questions about the petition process after the activist's presentation is complete.

The NRC will transcribe the meeting by a court reporter and a webcast will be made available for the public. The information will be posted on this Townsquare Media station's web site.

The hearing takes place next Thursday, January 3rd.