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Thursday
May232013

States tell NRC to review nuclear waste storage at reactors

From AP: Attorneys general in Vermont, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut announced Thursday they are petitioning the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a more thorough environmental review of storage of highly radioactive nuclear waste at plant sites.

"Federal law requires that the NRC analyze the environmental dangers of storing spent nuclear fuel at reactors that were not designed for long-term storage,’’ said Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell.

In a landmark ruling last year, a federal appeals court in Washington said the NRC needed to do a full environmental review of the risks of storing the waste — spent nuclear fuel — in storage pools and casks made of steel and concrete on the grounds of nuclear plants while the search continues for a disposal solution.

Activists in Vermont have come to mistrust the NRC "dog and pony" shows that show up in their state. Now four attorneys general are demanding some meaningful accountability from the agency on prolonged on-site storage of high-level radioactive waste. The position of Beyond Nuclear is that this waste must not be moved to so-called "interim" sites but properly stored in hardened, protected casks - a process known as Hardened On-Site Storage.

‘‘NRC staff is continuing to ignore serious public health, safety and environmental risks related to long-term, on-site storage,’’ New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a news release. ‘‘The communities that serve as de facto long-term radioactive waste repositories deserve a full and detailed accounting of the risks.’’ More.