A total of 45 groups and individuals from across the nation are formally asking the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to immediately suspend all licensing and other activities at 21 proposed nuclear reactor projects in 15 states until the NRC completes a thorough post-Fukushima reactor crisis examination comparable to the process set up in the wake of the serious, though less severe, 1979 accident at Three Mile Island.
The petitioners also are asking the NRC to supplement its own investigation by establishing an independent commission.
Emergency action by the NRC is necessary because a number of the pending licensing proceedings are approaching completion, including for Pilgrim, Vogtle, and the AP1000 design certification proceeding. The NRC was subjected to extensive criticism when it extended the license for the controversial and problem-plagued Vermont Yankee reactor just days after the Fukushima reactor disaster.
An attorney for the petitioners, Diane Curran of Harmon, Curran, Spielberg & Eisenberg, LLP, said: “NRC violated the law by re-licensing the Vermont Yankee reactor at the same time it launched an investigation into whether U.S. safety and environmental standards are strong enough in light of the Fukushima accident.”…