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Citizens Ass'n for Sound Energy v. NRC

Citation: 17 ELR 21229
No. No. 86-1169, 821 F.2d 725/(D.C. Cir., 06/26/1987)

The court upholds an order issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) denying petitioner's request to stay the NRC's extension of an expired construction permit and to halt further construction at the Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station in Texas. The court first holds that the NRC properly denied petitioner's request for a hearing prior to granting the utility's request for an extension of its construction permit. Petitioner is entitled to a hearing only to determine whether the utility had shown good cause for the extension under Atomic Energy Act (AEA) § 185. The evidence that petitioner wishes to present on the quality of the ongoing construction should be confined to the ongoing proceedings to determine whether the utility should be granted an operating license. Further, if petitioner believed that the construction of the plant was itself a safety hazard, it could have moved the NRC pursuant to 10 C.F.R. § 2.206 to suspend construction, under which it would not have been confined to the good cause standard. The court next holds that the NRC properly decided not to require the utility to apply for a new construction permit to replace the expired permit. The NRC's interpretation of AEA § 185, which permits it to extend a completion date for "good cause," as not precluding an extension in these circumstances was permissible.

Counsel for Petitioner
Anthony Z. Roisman
Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
2000 P St. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 463-8600

Counsel for Respondent
Charles E. Mullins
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
1717 H St. NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 492-7000

Before BORK and STARR, Circuit Judges and McGOWAN, Senior Circuit Judge.