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Petitioners Seek to Suspend Final Determinations in Ongoing Licensing Proceedings Pending Additional Findings by the NRC Regarding Nuclear Waste Disposal

A group of petitioners has filed a “Petition to Suspend Final Decisions” and a “Waste Confidence Contention” in pending reactor licensing and relicensing proceedings.  The petitioners assert that the NRC lacks authority under the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) to issue or renew an operating license until the Commission makes certain findings related to the disposal of spent nuclear fuel at an applicant’s facility.  

In 2012, the D.C. Circuit vacated the NRC’s Waste Confidence Decision for failure to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  The NRC suspended final licensing decisions pending its issuance of a new waste confidence rule and accompanying generic environmental impact statement (GEIS).  The Commission recently issued the final Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel rule and an accompanying GEIS and plans to resume final licensing decisions as of the effective date of the new rule—October 20, 2014.  The petitioners claim that the AEA requires the NRC to make certain safety findings regarding the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and that the Continued Storage Rule and GEIS do not satisfy these AEA requirements.  The petitioners also claim that the new GEIS does not satisfy NEPA’s requirements.  

To access the Petition, click here.

To access the Contention, click here.