NRC Shelves New Plant Licenses as It Ponders What to Do About Waste
Friday, August 10, 2012
Bellefonte Nuclear Plant (photo: Institute for Southern Studies)
After years of warnings by environmentalists to do something about the radioactive waste piling up at nuclear power plants around the country, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has stopped issuing any licenses for new and existing reactors while it addresses the problem.
The decision was prompted by a recent federal court ruling that raised the matter of spent fuel rods and other radioactive materials being stored at nuclear plants on a temporary basis.
The NRC was counting on the waste being shipped to a national repository in Nevada. But the Obama administration canceled the controversial Yucca Mountain project, which experienced years of political delays and criticism from environmentalists and Nevada leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The government must do something about the fuel rods piling up in numerous states, though, because they “pose a dangerous, long-term health and environmental risk,” according to the court.
The NRC’s decision to put a hold on new licenses impacts at least 19 requests by utility companies seeking to renew approval for existing reactors or to build new ones. Among plants and units affected are Bellefonte in Alabama, Watts Bar in Tennessee, and Diablo Canyon in California.
To Learn More:
NRC Puts Nuclear Licensing Decisions on Hold (by Alan Scher Zagier, Associated Press)
Memorandum and Order (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) (pdf)
Alabama Nuclear Plant Wins Go-Ahead after 23-Year Delay (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
- Top Stories
- Unusual News
- Where is the Money Going?
- U.S. and the World
- Appointments and Resignations
- Latest News
- Arizona Voter ID Law Overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court
- Faces of 120 Million People in State Driver’s License Databases Accessed for Criminal Investigations
- FTC Allowed to Stop Brand Drug Firms from Paying Competitors to Keep Generics off Market
- Majority of Americans Disapprove of NSA Surveillance Operations
- U.S. and Britain Eavesdropped on World Leaders at 2009 Summits