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D.C. Circuit Upholds NRC’s Continued Storage Rule

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the NRC’s Continued Storage Rule and dismissed a petition for review entered by several entities, including several states and environmental groups. The petitioners argued that the NRC’s Generic Environmental Impact Statement (“GEIS”) did not properly consider alternatives to and mitigation measures for the continued storage of spent nuclear fuel, miscalculated the impacts of continued storage, and relied on unreasonable assumptions. The Court found that the NRC properly considered the scope of alternatives required by NEPA, and that the GEIS discussed applicable mitigation measures.  The Court also found that the NRC properly reserved other issues for individual plant licensing, sufficiently analyzed the impacts of continued storage of spent nuclear fuel, and made reasonable assumptions regarding storage of spent nuclear fuel and institutional controls over spent fuel. In conclusion, the Court found that the NRC did not engage in arbitrary or capricious decision-making and denied the petitions for review of the Continued Storage Rule.

To view the Court’s Opinion, click here.