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In response to the US Court of Appeals Waste Confidence Rule the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has decided to suspend all licensing decisions until it completes a thorough analysis of, and create laws regarding, the environmental impacts of radioactive nuclear waste when it is either stored or disposed of.
Former NRC commissioner, Peter Bradford, defended the decision by saying that “the reactors awaiting construction licenses weren't going to be built anytime soon even without the court decision or today's N.R.C. action. Falling demand, cheaper alternatives and runaway nuclear costs had doomed their near-term prospects well before the recent court decision.”
19 licenses have been put on hold so far, including nine construction and operating licenses, eight license renewals, one operating license, and one early site permit.
The decision was made after 24 groups filed a petition in mid June asking the commission to freeze final licensing decisions.
Diane Curran, an attorney representing some of the groups , stated that “this commission’s decision halts all final licensing decisions – but not the licensing proceedings themselves. The decision would only last until the N.R.C. completes a thorough study of the environmental impacts of storing and disposing of spent nuclear fuel.” Expect another petition in the future if the licenses are ever approved.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com