In case you have not already heard, yesterday the NRC suspended all final licensing actions for nuclear reactors in the US. This will also impact any construction permits from being approved during the suspension. They will continue to do process work for licenses in the system but no actual license can be issued right now. The license renewal of Indian Point near New York City will be the first reactor renewal to be prevented by this suspension with expiration of the current ones in 2013 and 2015.
The NRC apparently failed to conduct an environmental impact statement before considering the fuel storage long term in wet pools and dry casks to be safe. The NRC issued a statement of finding “no significant environmental impact” without doing the proper work. A DC court of appeals then vacated the two NRC rules in June. The new head of the NRC was selected due to her background in Geology that should help with the push to find a permanent fuel repository.
Yucca mountain remains closed as an option for now with an appeals court putting off further decisions until December 2012.
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