Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NRC Grants Motion To Suspend All Licensing Decisions

August 7, 2012


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 Rule.

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.,, a safe-energy organization based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and founded in 1977. TMIA monitors Peach Bottom, Susquehanna, and Three Mile Island nuclear generating stations.

Eric Epstein can be reached at 717-541-1101.

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