Legal Battle Against U.S. Nuclear Reactor Rules Continues On   2 comments

You know, the more I read this, the more I have to wonder: what the hell is going on at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission?

The leading plaintiffs in a lawsuit that put all licensing decisions for U.S. nuclear power plants on ice a year ago have been hinting in recent weeks that the legal battle over the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s so-called “waste confidence” rule is far from finished.

In a 2012 ruling, a federal appeals court found that the commission – the federal entity through which all commercial reactors must seek permission to operate —  had not done enough analysis to justify the “confidence” it professed that radioactive waste generated by U.S. plants ultimately would be disposed of safely.

The court said that the commission had not adequately considered the prospect of catastrophic, terrorism-instigated spent-fuel pool fires at reactor sites in the interim. Nor did it thoroughly weigh the fact that the Obama administration had canceled the Yucca Mountain repository project in Nevada without yet identifying a replacement, according to the appeals bench.

NRC officials in September proposed a new waste-confidence rule that they assert addresses the court’s concerns. They published the proposal despite warnings from plaintiffs earlier this year that the scope of an environmental review supporting the rule was not broad enough. Criticism has since continued.(Nuclear Threat Initiative)

Now, to be fair, this is a valid criticism: since 9/11, the NRC has been given, among other things, the responsibility of ensuring the safety of nuclear energy facilities across the United States against terrorist and other threats but you’d think that after a certain point the NRC would get around to figuring out what rules to implement…


2 responses to “Legal Battle Against U.S. Nuclear Reactor Rules Continues On

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  1. No Nukes! The people of Ukraine, their neighbor, Belarus, and more recently, Japan, learned the most painful way. Those of us who have choices to make–the most ethical of which would be to entirely divest of any global, international corporations–should go solar at home, in our small (my case) or large (the case of others) investments. There is no secure way to dispose of nuclear waste. Everything I was not able to learn in 1969–time/space issues–was correct. No war. No nukes. Had they stared dumping mountains in valleys in 1969? I’ll just add that to the “NO” list. A “job” is not a living if it will render earth uninhabitable for your children. I preach to the choir, do I not?

  2. Normally I would say yes, Circe, but on the issue of nuclear energy, I have to very apologetically stand on the opposite side; as I often say to people on the issue of energy, until there is a time where we no longer have to use nuclear energy in its’ present form (i.e. nuclear fission), I believe nuclear energy, even with the attendant risks, is still a far better source of energy to use instead of fossil fuels (i.e. coal, oil & certain forms of gas) and should remain a part of the energy landscape until such a time as other energy sources (solar, geothermal, wind) can take over for fossil fuels.

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