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NRC Approves Final Rule on Spent Fuel Storage

Today, the NRC approved a final rule on the environmental effects of continued storage of spent nuclear fuel and will lift its suspension of final licensing actions on nuclear power plant licenses and renewals once the final rule becomes effective.  Now called the "continued storage of spent nuclear fuel,"  the final rule adopts the findings of the Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) regarding the impacts of storing spent fuel at any reactor site after the reactor’s licensed period of operations.  As a result, such generic impacts do not need to be re-analyzed in environmental reviews for individual licenses. The final rule does not authorize, license or otherwise permit nuclear power plant licensees to store spent fuel for any length of time. 

In a separate Order, the NRC approved lifting the suspensions and provided direction on the resolution of related contentions in 21 adjudications before the NRC and the Atomic Safety and Licensing Boards.  This Order authorizes NRC staff to issue final licensing decisions as appropriate once the final rule becomes effective.  The NRC expects the final rule and GEIS to be published in September. 

To access the NRC News Release, click here.