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Beyond Nuclear legal filings at NRC sets stage for appeal in federal court opposing Fermi 2 license extension

On Dec. 4, 2015, Toledo attorney Terry Lodge (photo, left), on behalf of Beyond Nuclear, filed a Motion to Reopen the Record, and a Petition to Intervene, in the Fermi 2 license extension proceeding.

The filings have set the stage, in anticipation of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's ultimate rejection, for a Beyond Nuclear appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The appeal will challenge the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's "Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel" policy, formerly known as its "Nuclear Waste Confidence" policy.

Thus, the Fermi 2 proceeding would join Beyond Nuclear's legal appeals to the D.C. Circuit Court regarding the Davis-Besse, OH license extension proceeding, as well as the Fermi 3 proposed new reactor proceeding.

The consolidated appeal is known as New York v. NRC II.

Attorneys Diane Curran of Washington D.C., and Mindy Goldstein of Emory University's Turner Environmental Law Clinic in Atlanta, serve as legal counsel for Beyond Nuclear in New York v. NRC II.

In New York v. NRC, in June 2012, a coalition of states, environmental groups, and an Indian tribe won a major legal victory, invalidating NRC's Nuclear Waste Confidence policy.

Beyond Nuclear hopes to prevail again this time. Oral arguments are to be held in spring 2016 on New York v. NRC II. Another Beyond Nuclear et al. legal victory would be a major blow to the license extensions at Fermi 2 and Davis-Besse, as well as the construction and operations license at Fermi 3.

The Fermi nuclear power plant in southeast MI, and the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in northwest OH, are located on the shoreline of Lake Erie's shallow, fragile, and bio-diverse Western Basin, one of the planet's most productive walleye fisheries. Lake Erie, and points downstream in Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River, serve as the drinking water supply for millions of Americans, Canadians, and Native Americans.

Beyond Nuclear has been joined in coalition by Don't Waste MI and Citizen Environmental Alliance of Southwestern Ontario in intervening against Fermi 2's license extension. Keith Gunter, co-chair of the Alliance to Halt Fermi 3 and a Beyond Nuclear Launch Partner, has helped provide Beyond Nuclear legal standing in the Fermi 2 legal proceedings. Citizens Resistance at Fermi Two (CRAFT) is also fighting the 20-year extension.