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NRC licensing board bolsters argument that renewables can replace nuclear

A U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruled on December 28th that the NRC staff and nuclear utility applicant at the Calvert Cliffs 3 new reactor project in Maryland must give much more serious consideration to the vast potential of offshore wind power, as well as a combination of various renewable energy sources, as realistic alternatives to nuclear power. This is a tremendous victory for the environmental coalition -- which includes Beyond Nuclear -- fighting Calvert Cliffs 3, which brought the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) challenge in the first place, upon which the ASLB has just ruled. This victory provides an important precedent for two other Beyond Nuclear/environmental coalition interventions, this time against 20 year license extensions at Seabrook nuclear power plant in NH, and Davis-Besse atomic reactor in OH. In both cases, offshore wind power was presented as a vast potential resource that could replace the dangerously deteriorated atomic reactors. And in the Davis-Besse proceeding, a complementary argument was put forward, that a combination of renewables -- such as wind and solar PV power in OH -- can readily replace the nuclear electricity.