Twenty-four anti-nuclear and environmental groups have joined with the states of Vermont and New York in calling on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to do a more thorough study of the impacts of storing spent nuclear fuel on the grounds of nuclear power plants.
The groups say the NRC is rushing an environmental review of the risks of nuclear waste storage at reactor sites across the country. The groups include the New England Coalition, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and Riverkeeper.
The NRC has had a Waste Confidence Rule since the mid-1980's that precluded any issues being raised over the safety of local storage of nuclear waste because there was a ‘presumption of confidence’ that it could be safely stored until a national repository was ready.
But Yucca Mountain failed. When the Waste Confidence Rule needed renewal, a time limit for safe local storage was removed without determinate scientific data, according to New England Coalition Technical Advisor Ray Shadis.
Riverkeeper was among the groups that sued the NRC to overturn the old waste regulations. Hudson River Program Director Phillip Musegaas’ key concern is that the NRC has set an arbitrary two year timeline for an environmental review.
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Environmental Director Manna Jo Greene.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region One Spokesperson Diane Screnci says this is all simply part of public comments for their rule-making.
The District Court decision mandating the environmental review also stops the licensing and re-licensing of reactors until the risks are resolved.