Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Jersey Environmental Fed. v. Nuclear Regulatory Comm.

May 18: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, Case No. 09-2567. On Petition for Review from an Order of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. New Jersey Environmental Federation, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club, and others (collectively, Citizens) petition for review of three decisions of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the NRC) granting a license renewal for Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station (Oyster Creek). Citizens intervened in the license renewal proceedings and offered several contentions challenging the licensee's (Exelon Generation Company, LLC) plans to detect corrosion in a safety structure at Oyster Creek. The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (the Board) admitted one of these contentions, denied several others, and ultimately determined that the admitted contention lacked merit. The NRC affirmed the Board's decisions and granted the license renewal application. Citizens assert that the Board and the NRC committed various procedural errors in denying their contentions and failed to make the safety findings required to issue a renewed license. The Appeals Court denied the Citizens' petition for review.
    In its conclusion, the Appeals Court said, "After a thorough review of the comprehensive decisions of the Board and the NRC, we conclude that the NRC did not abuse its discretion in rejecting Citizens' various challenges to Exelon's license renewal application for Oyster Creek. We commend Citizens for their diligence in bringing these issues to the attention of the Board and the NRC. We also recognize that the Board and the NRC provided hundreds of pages detailing their decision making and gave due consideration to Citizens' concerns. We are confident that the NRC's review of Exelon's application was well-reasoned, and we will not second-guess technical decisions within the realm of its unique expertise. For the foregoing reasons, we will deny the petition for review."
    In a note to the decision, the Appeals Court said, "We sought comment from the NRC, Exelon, and Citizens regarding the potential impact of the damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on the propriety of granting a license renewal of Oyster Creek. After considering the submissions from the parties (including the NRC's indication that Oyster Creek's containment is adequate), it appears that the events in Japan do not provide a basis to grant the petition for review in this case."
    Access the complete opinion (click here). [*Energy/Nuclear, *CA3]

WIMS Environmental News Blogs - On April 20, 2011, WIMS launched its new network of 24/7 Environmental News Blogs. The first phase of the launch includes the following news blogs: (see news release)

·         White House News; Congressional News; Federal Agencies News; Industry News;
Enviro Group News; Air Quality News; Hazardous Waste News; and Transportation News

No comments: