AG Calls for Immediate Solution to Spent Fuel Storage in Light of NRC Decision
In June, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) approach to managing spent fuel waste did not meet federal environmental standards. After the NRC subsequently decided Tuesday to postpone the licensing of nuclear power plants until the agency further assesses the issue of long term storage for spent nuclear fuel, Attorney General Martha Coakley released this statement:
“This decision by the NRC reaffirms the concerns that our office has raised about the storage of spent fuel pools since 2006. We have said repeatedly that the risks regarding spent fuel were underestimated by the NRC in its relicensing of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth in June. We continue to appeal that decision through the courts .
We have also long argued that the federal government has failed in its obligation to implement long-term solutions for the storage of spent fuel. Federal and Massachusetts taxpayers have paid more than $24 billion into a fund to establish a permanent site for spent nuclear waste storage; there is still no solution on the horizon. The federal government should mandate additional dry cask storage as well as find and site interim central repositories for spent fuel. We need the federal government to remove this material from our generation facilities and decommissioned sites starting yesterday.”
In June, AG Coakley filed an appeal to the NRC’s decision to relicense the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station for 20-years saying the commission acted “arbitrarily” and “abused its discretion.”
In March 2011, AG Coakley and Senate President Therese Murray sent a letter to Secretary Steven Chu of the U.S. Department of Energy and NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko demanding the federal government to reexamine the safety implications of spent fuel storage at nuclear plants.