The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has voted to wait before approving new licenses for Indian Point and other nuclear plants until it addressed the question of how to deal with safety and potential environmental threats from long term on-site storage of nuclear waste.
The NRC’s decision came after a Washington, DC Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling involving the NRC’s Waste Confidence Decision update.
Environmental group Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, which supports closure of Indian Point, filed a safety contention against the nuclear plant’s relicensing bid, according to the organization’s Manna Jo Greene.
“When the nuclear power plants in this region and around the country were built, there was a thought that there would be a national repository for the high level nuclear waste", Greene said.. "They were built as generating stations, not as nuclear waste storage facilities. Yucca Mountain is not going to open so no one has ever looked at the human health and safety and environmental impacts of storing hazardous nuclear waste on-site indefinitely.”
The NRC, meanwhile, said it will continue with its reviews of the new reactor and license renewal applications, but no final decisions will be made until the spent nuclear fuel storage issues are resolved.