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NRC rules new reactor licensing proceedings can continue full steam ahead despite Fukushima

As reported by the Newburyport News, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has decided to proceed "full steam ahead" with the Seabrook license extension proceeding, despite a legal intervention by Beyond Nuclear and environmental allies to suspend the proceeding in the wake of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe.

In addition, Beyond Nuclear at the Fermi 3 new reactor proceeding, and the Davis-Besse license extension proceeding, and environmental allies at many additional old and new reactor proceedings, including new reactor design certification proceedings, have been rebuffed by the NRC Commissioners in a parallel call for license and design certification proceeding suspensions in the wake of Fukushima. At the time of the Three Mile Island meltdown in 1979, the NRC effectively suspended any and all license proceedings for a year and half. Not so this time, in the aftermath of the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

General Electric, reactor vendor for the Boiling Water Reactor Mark 1 design -- which overheated, melted down, exploded, and breached containment three times at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan -- has two new reactor designs undergoing design certification, as well as numerous Combined Construction and Operating License Application (COLA) proceedings in the U.S. The new G.E. designs are the so-called Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR), and the so-called Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR). COLA proceedings are in progress for the ABWR at the South Texas Project, and for the ESBWR at Fermi 3 in Michigan. Beyond Nuclear is an official party to the interventions opposing the ESBWR design certification, as well as the COLA at Fermi 3.

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