Friday, November 16, 2012

Urge NRC Chairwoman Macfarlane to withdraw legally deficient Nuke Waste Con Game environmental assessment

US NRC Chairwoman Allison MacfarlaneOn Nov. 14th, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) held public comment hearing sessions regarding its court-ordered environmental assessment (EA) on its Nuclear Waste Confidence Decision and Rule. Critics have dubbed this NRC's "Nuke Waste Con Game," for it has been used by the agency to block challenges to reactor licensing for decades, if environmental groups or concerned citizens raise questions about the safety or security of on-site storage of high-level radioactive waste at atomic reactors. But on June 8th, a coalition of states and environmental groups prevailed at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, when a panel of federal judges ruled that NRC must perform an environmental impact statement (EIS) to document its claimed confidence that irradiated nuclear fuel can be stored safely and securely at reactor sites for 120 years.
On Nov. 8th, the same environmental attorneys who won the court victory wrote NRC Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane (pictured above left), urging her to withdraw NRC's Federal Register Notice on the EA, due to its violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as well as NRC's own regulations (specificially, 10CFR51.27(a)(2)). Critically lacking from the EA Notice are a description of the proposed action, as well as alternatives to the proposed action. A number of environmental groups, including Beyond Nuclear, cited that letter yesterday, calling for these legal violations to be corrected, and for this proceeding to be suspended in the meantime.
Please urge NRC Chairwoman Macfarlane to withdraw the Federal Register Notice, suspend this proceeding, and correct the legal errors. Here is language you can use:
[Dear Chairwoman Macfarlance,
Regarding the scoping process for the Waste Confidence Environmental Impact Statement (Docket ID NRC-2012-0246), please withdraw the relevant Federal Register Notice and correct its legal deficiencies, suspending this proceeding until you have done so. Specifically, the lack of a proposed action, and the lack of alternatives to the proposed action, violate the National Environmental Policy Act, as well as NRC's own regulations (10CFR51.27(a)(2)). The safety and security risks of storing irradiated nuclear fuel at reactor sites in pools and dry casks are too great for this scoping process to go forward, given NRC's legal errors.
You can send your comments to Chairwoman Macfarlance by email at, by snail mail [to Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Mail Stop O-16G4; Washington, DC 20555-0001], or you can phone her office at (301) 415-1750.

Beyond Nuclear - Radioactive Waste What's New - Urge NRC Chairwoman Macfarlane to withdraw legally deficient Nuke Waste Con Game environmental assessment

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