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Potomac Alliance v. NRC

Citation: 12 ELR 20937
No. No. 80-1862, 682 F.2d 1030/17 ERC 1785/(D.C. Cir., 07/20/1982)

The court remands to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an order amending the operating license for a nuclear power plant for consideration of the environmental effects of long-term storage of nuclear waste as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. The court notes that it previously remanded a nearly identical license amendment, 9 ELR 20531, and follows the result reached in that case. For equitable reasons, the court declines to vacate the license amendment, which allows the licensee to expand its spent fuel storage capacity. However, it notes that the NRC's failure to conclude its generic rulemaking on the environmental effects of long-term spent fuel storage prior to June 30, 1983 will jeopardize the court's continued approval of this approach.

In a concurring opinion, one judge clarifies and expands on the substantive issues underlying the per curiam opinion. The judge rejects the NRC's determination that it may continue to approve the expansion of spent fuel pools' capacity without consideration of the environmental consequences, pending completion of the rulemaking.

Counsel for Petitioner
James B. Dougherty
3045 Porter St. NW, Washington DC 20008
(202) 362-7158

Counsel for Respondents
Marion E. Moe, Stephen F. Eilperin
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555
(202) 634-1493

Anne S. Almy, Thomas H. Pacheco, James W. Moorman
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-4427

Counsel for Intervenor
James N. Christman, Michael W. Maupin, James M. Rinaca
Hunton & Williams
P.O. Box 1535, Richmond VA 23212
(804) 788-8200

Before: BAZELON and MCGOWAN, Senior Circuit Judges, and WILKEY, Circuit Judge.