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NRC Suspends Relicensing Decisions While It Reviews Fuel Storage Risks

The NRC announced it will hold off on decisions on Indian Point and other nuclear power plant relicensing until it completes a reassessment of fuel storage risks.

The following is from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

NRC Tuesday issued a decision on petitions asking the agency to hold off on rendering decisions on any pending new reactor or relicensing applications. One of the plants that would be affected by this would be Indian Point, which is seeking a 20-year license extension. Those requests are pegged to a recent D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling involving the NRC’s Waste Confidence Decision update. The court remanded the matter back to the NRC for further consideration.

In its decision Tuesday on the petitions, the Commission said that while it has not yet determined how it will respond to the court, “we will not issue licenses dependent upon the Waste Confidence Decision or the Temporary Storage Rule until the court’s remand is appropriately addressed. This determination extends just to final license issuance; all licensing reviews and proceedings should continue to move forward.”

In other words, NRC staff reviews of the new reactor and license renewal applications can continue, but no final decisions will be rendered on them until the spent nuclear fuel storage issues are resolved.

At , the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will hold off on evidentiary hearings regarding nuclear fuel storage, but will continue to hold planned hearings on the many other contentions involved in the Indian Point license renewal proceedings.

Comment from Indian Point Energy Center spokesman Jerry Nappi:

“We look forward to a decision by the NRC on how it plans to move forward with addressing the Waste Confidence Decision ruling by the DC Circuit. The NRC also made clear today however that, in the meantime, ‘all licensing reviews and proceedings should continue to move forward,’ and we therefore don’t anticipate a significant impact on Indian Point’s relicensing schedule.”  

To read more about this decision, click here for WNYC’s coverage.

Requests for a response on this matter from an Indian Point spokesman were not returned by the time of publication.

Francis T McVetty August 10, 2012 at 08:30 PM
I find this troubling. The government spends over 60 billion dollars on a waste storage facility in Nevada and without even opening it, it closes it. Now they are blaming Indian point for NOT having the proper storage facility for the nuclear waste? This from a government that wants to run heath care. Why isn't someone complaining about the Yucca Mountain facility? Why did we spend these billions of dollars?

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