Waste Issue Halts U.S. Nuclear Reactor Licensing

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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees commercial nuclear power enterprises, has halted the issuance of all new nuclear reactor licensing decisions after a court ruling citing the failure of industry and government to identify an acceptable solution for the long-term storage of nuclear waste. Nineteen final reactor licensing decisions are affected, including nine Construction and Operating Licenses (COLS), eight license renewals, one operating license, and one early site permit. The NRC issued the order on Tuesday in response to a petition filed by numerous environmental groups, as well as individual petitioners. The petition followed a ruling by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit dated Jun. 8, which stated that the way that the NRC deals with nuclear waste issues in its review process for new or existing nuclear power plants is unacceptable.

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