About 200 people who support the project turned out for the first of two hearings in Pueblo on Tuesday.
The Pueblo Chieftain said the speakers included former nuclear power plant workers, a union leader and a real-estate agent. Several speakers said the high-paying jobs at the plant would benefit surrounding communities.
Local lawyer Don Banner is behind the project. He told the Pueblo County commissioners that the wider world was watching what the community would do following the earthquake in Japan.
Opponents get to have their say at a hearing Wednesday evening.
The commissioners have 15 days to vote on the zoning change that would allow the project.