August 7, 2012
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION AGREES TO HOLD REACTOR LICENSING DECISIONS IN ABEYANCE
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted the Motion of Three Mile
Island Alert, Inc.*, and nuclear interveners at 21 other plants across
the country, to suspend all licensing decisions that are dependent on
the agency's Waste Confidence Rule.
On June 8, 2012 the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit tossed out a regulation that allowed nuclear waste to be stored
at reactors for 100 years or more. The Appeals Court said the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission failed to fully study the environmental risks of
long-term onsite storage when it adopted the so-called "waste
confidence" rule in December 2010.
Today’s Order assures the public of an opportunity to participate,
regardless of how the Commission proceeds, and states that individual
contentions based on the federal court decision should be held in
abeyance pending a further order.
Diane Curran, one of the attorneys spearheading the litigation project,
said from her Washington, D.C. office, "This order pretty much gives us
all we asked for." However it is unclear as to which recent NRC
licensing decisions the agency deems dependent on the Waste Confidence
Beginning in 2007, Three Mile Island has prepared comments, and
testimony and filed litigation opposing the licensing and construction
of the Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plan before the NRC, Susquehanna River
Basin Commission and US. Army Corps of Engineers.
Eric Epstein, Chairman of TMI Alert, Inc. said, “This is victory for
common sense and prevents the nuclear industry from flushing its
radioactive waste down the streets of reactor communities.”
*Three Mile Island Alert , Inc., tmia.com, a safe-energy organization
based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and founded in 1977. TMIA monitors
Peach Bottom, Susquehanna, and Three Mile Island nuclear generating
Eric Epstein can be reached at 717-541-1101.