Entergy says the state of VT can’t Preempt the NRC’s renewal of their operators license because of the “Supremacy Clause” of the US Constitution (Article VI, clause 2) which states; that laws, statutes and treaties made by the federal government are supreme law and therefore preempt any conflicting state law.
First off, this is a operators license renewal it is not federal legislation, it is not a treaty. It is a renewal of license that doesn’t involve congress…
Secondly, USC 33 CH. 26 – SUBCH. IV § 1341 is a Federal Law and is therefor a Supreme Law! Neither Vermont Yankee, the NRC nor the EPA have followed it for the last 5 years!
Entergy’s complaint also quotes the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) (It wasn’t in USC 42 § 2011, as they labeled? on Cornel University’s Site) Entergy quotes it as saying “NRC has Exclusive authority over a plants construction and operation.” Well…Construction and Operation are NOT renewal of an operators license! Anyway lets take a look at another section of the AEA:
TITLE 42 > CHAPTER 23 > Division A > SUBCHAPTER I > § 2012
“The processing and utilization of source, byproduct, and special nuclear material must be regulated in the national interest and in order to provide for the common defense and security and to protect the health and safety of the public.”
Here we don’t see it saying that the NRC has exclusive authority to regulate atomic byproduct, (because USC 33 clearly includes STATE regulators in this process) it just says it MUST be regulated for the health and safety of the PUBLIC! The atomic byproduct, both (thermal discharge and tritium) have not met State or Federal regulatory standards. Thus no permit
conclusion: The State of Vermont has legal and lawful authority to refuse Entergy’s Certificate of Public Good pursuance of USC 33 CH. 26 – SUBCH. IV § 1341 on the premise that Entergy violating Vermont’s Water Quality Standards mixing zone provision and the state’s anti-degradation policy as well as the Ground Water Protection Act of 2008.
The state of Vermont should take the NRC and the EPA to court on grounds of violating USC 33 by issuing a renewal of license without this required state permit, as is stated in their own procedure for issuance of a renewed nuclear operator license.