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Simmons v. Arkansas Power & Light Co.

ELR Citation: 11 ELR 20885
Nos. No. 80-1633, 655 F.2d 131/(8th Cir., 07/22/1981)

Affirming the district court's dismissal of appellants' complaint alleging unlawful operation and regulation of the Arkansas Nuclear One power plant, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the district court lacked jurisdiction over the federal and state statutory claims and that the complaint failed to state a constitutional claim. Appellants, residents of four counties surrounding the plant, initiated suit after defendants vented radioactive gases released into the reactor containment building as a result of a malfunction, contending that the emergency plan for the reactor site is deficient. The court of appeals rules that the district court was without jurisdiction over appellants' claims premised on the Atomic Energy Act because they failed to exhaust their administrative remedies. Even if they had utilized existing administrative remedies, exclusive jurisdiction over any final action by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was with the United States Courts of Appeals. The court also rules that appellants' allegations of violations of the Fifth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Finally, the appellate court finds that the district court acted within its discretion in dismissing the pendent state claims.

Counsel for Appellants
Tom Donovan, Ernie Witt
P.O. Box 332, Dardanelle AR 72834
(501) 229-3446

Counsel for Appellees
George W. Proctor, U.S. Attorney; Robert J. Govar, Ass't U.S. Attorney
327 U.S. Cthse., Little Rock AR 72203
(501) 378-5373

Harvey J. Shulman
Office of the General Counsel
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555
(202) 634-1493

Steve Clark, Attorney General; Robert L. Waldrun, Ass't Attorney General
Justice Bldg., Little Rock AR 72201
(501) 371-2007

Joined by Heaney and McMillian, JJ.