NRC Pushes Back Key Rulemaking Following Government Shutdown

Douglas P. Guarino, Global Security Newswire
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Douglas P. Guarino, Global Security Newswire
Oct. 29, 2013, 11:02 a.m.

WASH­ING­TON — The Nuc­le­ar Reg­u­lat­ory Com­mis­sion is push­ing back by three weeks the dead­line for pub­lic com­ments on a con­tro­ver­sial rule that could de­term­ine the fate of all nuc­le­ar power plant li­cens­ing de­cisions.

NRC of­fi­cials an­nounced on Monday that it now will ac­cept com­ments on the so-called “waste con­fid­ence” rule through Dec. 20. The delay is a res­ult of this month’s fed­er­al gov­ern­ment shut­down, which las­ted nearly three weeks and forced the com­mis­sion to post­pone pub­lic meet­ings on the rule that it had planned to hold throughout the coun­try.

Re­vi­sion of the rule was promp­ted by a fed­er­al ap­peals court rul­ing last year. The court sided with the states of New York, Con­necti­c­ut, Mas­sachu­setts and Ver­mont, which ar­gued the com­mis­sion had wrongly as­sumed spent-re­act­or fuel even­tu­ally would move to a per­man­ent waste re­pos­it­ory, even though the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion can­celed the long-delayed Yucca Moun­tain pro­ject in Nevada.

In or­der for the com­mis­sion to li­cense nuc­le­ar fa­cil­it­ies, it must make a reg­u­lat­ory de­term­in­a­tion that it has “con­fid­ence” the waste such fa­cil­it­ies cre­ate will be dis­posed safely. In the ab­sence of a per­man­ent re­pos­it­ory, the court ruled the com­mis­sion must ex­am­ine the po­ten­tial con­sequences of fires in spent fuel pools — where much of the waste cur­rently is stored. Crit­ics have ar­gued the pools are vul­ner­able to ter­ror­ist at­tacks giv­en that they are loc­ated out­side re­act­or’s con­tain­ment struc­tures, and in some cases in an el­ev­ated area they claim is more sus­cept­ible to air at­tacks.

NRC of­fi­cials on Sept. 13 pro­posed a new waste con­fid­ence rule that they claim ad­dresses the court’s con­cerns. It already is prompt­ing cri­ti­cism, with the same group of states that pre­vailed in the ori­gin­al law­suit ar­guing that the scope of a new re­view of the im­pacts of leav­ing waste at plant sites is not as broad as the court man­dated.

In­dustry rep­res­ent­at­ives, mean­while, ar­gue the new rule ad­dresses all the is­sues raised by the court and in some cases goes fur­ther than ne­ces­sary.

Ac­cord­ing to Monday’s an­nounce­ment, com­mis­sion staff will host meet­ings on the rule Nov. 12 in Oak Brook, Ill.; Nov. 18 in Carls­bad, Cal­if.; Nov. 20 in San Lu­is Obispo, Cal­if.; Dec. 2 in Perry­s­burg, Ohio; and Dec. 4 in Min­netonka, Minn. An ad­di­tion­al tele­con­fer­ence will take place on Dec. 9.

What We're Following See More »
TO VISIT US TROOPS
John McCain Paid Secret Visit To Syria
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Senator John McCain paid a secret visit to Northern Syria over the weekend during his trip abroad. McCain reportedly went "to speak with American officials and Kurdish fighters leading the charge to push ISIS militants out of Raqqa, the jihadist group’s stronghold." The trip was organized with the help of U.S. military.

Source:
‘MORE WITH LESS’
Trump Budget to Call for Major Cuts
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Trump administration will deliver its first budget to Congress in mid-March, and the president confirmed Wednesday it will contain major cuts for federal agencies." The blueprint, expected to be released in mid-March, will not include the kinds of specifics usually seen in White House budgets, but rather will instruct the heads of agencies to "do more with less."

Source:
DEFERENCE TO PRESIDENT
More Republicans Trust Trump than GOP Members
7 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
PAC WILL TARGET INCUMBENTS
Sanders Acolytes Taking the Movement Local
9 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"While Democrats nationwide have put the focus on President Trump, the Sanders wing of the party has engaged in an intramural fight to remake the party in a more populist, liberal mold." From Washington state to California to Florida, Sanders loyalists are making good on their promise to remake the party from the ground up. And just last week, a "group of former Sanders campaign aides launched a super PAC with the explicit goal of mounting primary challenges to Democratic incumbents."

Source:
THANKS TO MILITARY ROLE
McMaster Requires Congressional Approval
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Congress will need to vote on Donald Trump's pick of Lt. General H.R. McMaster to be his next national security adviser, but not for the reason you think. The position of NSA doesn't require Senate approval, but since McMaster currently holds a three-star military position, Congress will need to vote to allow him to keep his position instead of forcing him to drop one star and become a Major General, which could potentially affect his pension.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login