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November 1, 2010

Nuclear Townhall
Charging that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has "fallen far short" of openness and transparency with respect to the agency’s Yucca Mountain actions, ranking Environment and Public Works Committee Republican Senator James Inhofe has written individually today to Chairman Gregory Jaczko and his fellow commissioners – Kristine Svinicki, William Ostendorff and William Magwood – asking for the status of a still outstanding review of the Atomic Safety Licensing Board’s June 29, 2010 rejection of the U.S. Department of Energy’s request to withdraw the project’s pending license application with prejudice. A fifth Commissioner, George Apostolakis, has recused himself from the matter.
"A crucial first step to rebuild the public’s trust is simply to conclude the adjudicatory proceeding and answering the simple question of whether DOE can lawfully withdraw the license application," Inhofe said. "Answering this question would also eliminate any opportunity for tortured interpretations of budgetary authority under Continuing Resolutions regarding whether the staff should continue their review of the license application," he said in a jab aimed at the NRC Chairman who terminated the Yucca Mountain review in early October citing budgetary considerations.
The two questions posed by the Oklahoma Senator are:
  1. Have you voted in the adjudicatory proceeding regarding the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board’s ruling that DOE cannot lawfully withdraw the Yucca Mountain license application?  If so when?
  2. If not, when do you anticipate voting on the matter?
Inhofe requested a written response by the end of the week from each Commissioner.

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