Friday, August 10, 2012

US Freezes 19 Nuclear Power Plant Licensing Decisions

Majia Here: If you've not heard the good news:

US Freezes 19 Nuclear Power Plant Licensing Decisions
By Mat McDermott, TreeHugger 10 August 12 
[Excerpted]  US Court of Appeals ruling saying that spent nuclear fuel stored at nuclear power plants "poses a dangerous, long-term health and environmental risk" has prompted the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to halt all pending licensing decisions, ENS reports.
Affected are 9 construction and operating licenses, 8 license renewals, 1 operating license, and 1 early site permit.
The NRC order says:
We are now considering all available options for resolving the waste confidence issue, which could include generic or site-specific NRC actions or some combination of both. We have not yet determined a course of action. [...] This determination extends just to final license issuance; all licensing reviews and proceedings should continue to move forward.
The court ruling that brought a halt to US licensing decisions for nuclear power plants stems from an action brought about the New York State Attorney General over the relicensing of the Indian Point nuclear power plant...

Analysis of the impact of an accident at Indian Point shows that if an event on the scale of the Fukushima disaster were to occur, it would be 10-100 times more costly than the $60 billion estimated price tag for that nuclear disaster, in addition to forcing the evacuation of millions of people in the most densely populated part of the United States.... [end excerpt]


Published on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 by Common Dreams
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Suspends New Licenses, Renewals
- Common Dreams staff

[Excerpted] Tuesday's announcement comes in response to a June 8 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that found "the NRC violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in issuing its 2010 update to the Waste Confidence Decision and accompanying Temporary Storage Rule," Reuters reports.  

More specifically, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy explains that "the Court threw out the NRC rule that permitted licensing and re-licensing of nuclear reactors based on the supposition that 

(a) the NRC will find a way to dispose of spent reactor fuel to be generated by reactors at some time in the future when it becomes 'necessary' and 

(b) in the mean time, spent fuel can be stored safely at reactor sites."

...On June 18, two dozen groups including Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Friends of the Earth, Nuclear Information and Resource Service and Public Citizen urged the NRC to suspend new and renewed licenses....

Majia Here: I think it is good to see that progress has been made. I'll post in a day or two some progress with the NRC on monitoring tritium.

Good news...


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