Nuclear panel must weigh risks of long-term storage, court rules
Source: Los Angeles Times
A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must consider the environmental and safety issues involved with long-term storage of radioactive wastes at power plants when it renews operating licenses, a potentially important new requirement as older reactors continue operating.
The ruling came on a suit brought by four states, the Natural Resources Defense Council and others, who have asserted that the nuclear industry has been putting the public at risk and federal regulators have failed to oversee the practices closely enough.
The three-judge panel ruled that the NRC evaluations have been deficient because the commission has failed to consider future risks when it has determined spent fuel can be stored for 60 years at the plant sites. It also said the commission has been wrong in not weighing the possibility that the radioactive fuel may have to stay where it is permanently, because the federal government may never have a nuclear dump for the spent fuel.
“The relicensing process is a scandal,” said former NRC commissioner Victor Galinsky. “The agency hardly looks at anything. They don’t question the basic assumptions of the original license. In the environmental review, the only thing they look at is whether the population has changed around the plant.”
2. Sanity at last. The clean up should be part of the cost of production, because it is. Doh!
The world's industries are run by people who magically expect 'someone else' to clean up their mess and stupid choices are made since they can run to another place and do it again. Grown ups plan for such things. Time to grow up.