State to Sue Federal Regulators Over Nuclear Waste Storage

Feb 19th, 2011 | By | Category: General

Connecticut is teaming up with New York and Vermont to sue federal regulators over their decision to allow nuclear power plants to store waste for up to 60 years. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission previously had a 30-year limit on storage.

Read more here: State to Sue Federal Regulators Over Nuclear Waste Storage | NBC Connecticut.

From the Attorney General’s Office:

Attorney General George Jepsen has joined New York and Vermont in asking a federal appellate court to review a December decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to extend the time in which spent nuclear fuel can be stored at reactor sites to 60 years.

The petition was filed on behalf of the states in the D.C. U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The petition alleges that the NRC “acted arbitrarily, abused its discretion and violated the National Environmental Policy Act” and other federal laws and regulations when it decided that radioactive waste can now remain safely onsite for 60 years past the licensed life of the reactor.

Prior to the change, spent fuel could be stored on site for up to 30 years after a reactor closed.

The states said the NRC needs to perform environmental impact studies before extending the temporary storage rule because any leaks from spent fuel storage pools or dry storage facilities could have significant impacts on groundwater and land use.

“We are asking the NRC to obey the law,” Jepsen said. “The NRC has a mandatory legal duty to provide state and local governments and the public with a full and comprehensive analysis of the potential environmental impact of additional decades of storage of high-level nuclear waste.”

Both the Indian Point reactor in New York and the Vermont Yankee reactor have had leaks of small amounts of nuclear material into the groundwater.

Connecticut has two operating nuclear plants, Millstone 2 and Millstone 3 in Waterford and two decommissioned nuclear plants, Millstone 1 in Waterford and Connecticut Yankee in Haddam. The spent fuel from those plants remains on site awaiting a permanent storage facility.

Assistant Attorney General Robert Snook is representing Jepsen in this case.

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