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February 16, 2011
Nuclear Townhall


In a maneuver that will could directly complicate licensing for plant extensions and ripple into new plant siting, three northeast state attorney generals have sued the Nuclear Regulatory Commission contesting the recent waste confidence ruling that will allow utilities to store spent fuel for sixty years on-site.

"Whether you’re for or against re-licensing Indian Point, we can all agree on one thing,” New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman told the Associated Press. “Before dumping radioactive waste at the site for 60 years after it’s closed, our communities deserve a thorough review of the safety, public health, and environmental risks such a move would present.


The New York State Attorney General’s office is already on the record as opposed to relicensing Indian Point – as is Governor Andrew Cuomo and the entire New York political establishment.  The waste confidence lawsuit is another step in a multi-pronged effort to close the plant, which supplies New York City with one-quarter of its electricity.

Connecticut has not been so overtly anti-nuclear, although former Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (now U.S. Senator) did propose a windfall profits tax on reactors a few years ago because he said they were profiting unfairly from the run-up in oil prices. Millstone Units 2 and 3 have already had their licenses extended through 2035 and 2045 respectively.

Vermont, of course, is intent on closing Vermont Yankee after Governor Peter Shumlin won election in large part by opposing it. Vermont is already dealing with initial consequences, however, as IBM, the state’s largest employer, has announced it will leave without Vermont Yankee’s electricity.

All this might serve as a cautionary harbinger of things to come, except that litigation-minded attorneys in the state offices seem indifferent to the consequences. When asked how the state planned to replace Indian’s Point’s 2000 megawatts, one attorney in the New York office responded, “That’s not our problem.”

Read more about it at the Hanford News

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