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« "Cheap natural gas might doom new Fermi plant" | Main | Beyond Nuclear on Thom Hartmann's "The Big Picture" regarding Fermi 1, 2, and 3 »
Thursday
Feb122015

Beyond Nuclear files legal challenge to NRC's false "Nuclear Waste Confidence" in bid to block proposed new Fermi 3 atomic reactor license

Environmental coalition attorney Terry Lodge of Toledo, OHOn Feb. 12th, Toledo-based attorney Terry Lodge (photo, left) filed a "place-holder" contention with the Fermi 3 U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel (ASLBP) overseeing the combined Construction and Operating License Application (COLA) proceeding.

The contention took the form of a "Hearing Request and Petition to Intervene," as well as a "Motion to Reopen the Record."

The ASLBP proceeding has now concluded, after 6.5 years, since the NRC Commissioners held their "Mandatory, Uncontested Hearing" on Feb. 4th.

However, the environmental coalition intervening against the Fermi 3 COLA (including Beyond Nuclear, Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don't Waste Michigan, and Sierra Club Michigan Chapter), represented by Lodge, has challenged NRC's false "Nuclear Waste Confidence" policy (since renamed by the agency as "Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel") at every opportunity for several years running -- including yet another federal court appeal.

Today's filing seeks to ensure that another favorable ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (like the ruling won in June 2012) will be applied by NRC in the Fermi 3 proceeding. That is, the coalition is seeking to either block the COLA license approval outright, or else to revoke NRC's rubber-stamp of the license, given the still unresolved "Nuclear Waste Confidence" issues such as pool fires, pool leaks, and the distinct possibility that a deep geologic repository for permanent high-level radioactive waste disposal will never open.

Beyond Nuclear is part of a larger environmental coalition of three dozen groups nationwide, seeking to block any NRC approvals for new reactor licenses, or old reactor 20-year license extensions, given the current version of "Nuclear Waste Confidence's" violation of such laws as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), and the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). That coalition is represented by attorneys Diane Curran of Harmon, Curran, Speilberg, + Eisenberg, LLP of Washington, D.C., and Mindy Goldstein of Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory University in Atlanta.