Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shieldalloy Metallurgical Corp v. NRC

Nov 9: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 09-1268. As the Appeals Court explains, under § 274 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 as amended, Pub. L. 86-373, 73 Stat. 688 (1959) (AEA), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is authorized to transfer regulatory authority over various categories of nuclear materials within a state to the state government, provided that the state's regulatory program is "compatible with the [NRC's] program" and is "adequate to protect the public health and safety." Shieldalloy Metallurgical Corporation, which for a decade has been seeking NRC approval for a plan to decommission a New Jersey facility, challenges the NRC's recent transfer of regulatory authority to that state, arguing that New Jersey's program is incompatible with the Federal scheme and that the transfer of authority was "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law." The Appeals Court agreed with the company.
    The Appeals Court said, ". . .the NRC's insufficient explanations on the applicability of criterion 25 [commitment to the uninterrupted "processing of license applications"] and the retention of jurisdiction render its transfer of regulatory authority to New Jersey arbitrary and capricious. We therefore grant Shieldalloy's petition, vacate the NRC's transfer of authority, and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion."
    Access the complete opinion (click here).

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