I spent the first 24 years of my life in New Hampshire and am still very concerned with issues affecting that state.

I am extremely disappointed, but not surprised, at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's decision {news story, Oct. 30} to drop the requirement that state and local authorities participate in emergency evacuation planning for areas adjacent to nuclear power plants -- and specifically, the Seabrook, N.H., power plant.

I realize that most U.S. administrations and officials are reactionary; they spend their tenures reacting to crises rather than actively planning avoidance or prevention. For some inexplicable reason (maybe I thought that by now the potential for crisis in the generation of electricity by nuclear fission was self-evident), I was hoping that the NRC would "stand up" and uphold the need for planning by the people and their representatives regarding the nuclear power industry.

I was wrong. The NRC has capitulated to the interests of the industry and its political proponents (New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu and the participants in the upcoming Republican primary) and left the people to find their own way out of the darkness of a nuclear accident.

Some may respond that the industry is still required to submit its own evacuation plans for Seabrook. However, in light of the NRC's recent definition of its stance with the industry, I ask: Who will be guarding the guards?

MATTHEW LEE WOODS Arlington