By Ben Geman - 07/29/11 06:06 PM EDT
Although the [Nuclear Waste Policy Act] mandates that NRC ‘shall consider’ the license application, NRC has unreasonably and unlawfully withheld its consideration by (a) withholding its decision regarding DOE’s motion to withdraw and (b) terminating its staff’s technical review of the license application and allowing effective suspension of the adjudication before the [Atomic Safety and Licensing Board].
South Carolina and Washington both are home to Energy Department nuclear sites that contain high-level radioactive waste, and the petition also notes that the utility regulators have an interest in the federal government following through on its commitment to take and store spent fuel piling up at the nation’s nuclear reactors.
“NARUC members, many located within 10-40 miles of working reactors, have recognized statutory charges to protect the health, safety, and economic interests of electric ratepayers who have already paid, through rates, more than $17 billion into the Nuclear Waste Fund, in part, to support the process of reviewing a permanent repository,” the lawsuit states.
The new lawsuit against the NRC comes a month after the same court tossed a lawsuit against the Energy Department for trying to nix the Yucca Project.
The court, in dismissing that lawsuit, said it was premature because NRC was still weighing the Energy Department’s attempt to withdraw its license application for the Yucca project.