DRESDEN NUCLEAR POWER STATION, UNIT 2: NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Denies Evidentiary Hearing on Holtec International’s Proposed Spent Fuel Storage Facility in New Mexico
Dresden Nuclear Power Station, Unit 2 issued the following announcement on May 7.
A Nuclear Regulatory Commission Atomic Safety and Licensing Board has denied requests
by several petitioners to hold an evidentiary hearing challenging Holtec International’s license
application to construct and operate a consolidated interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel in
southeastern New Mexico.
The three-judge board held oral arguments in Albuquerque in January on the standing of the
various petitioners and the admissibility of their proposed contentions under NRC regulations.
While the judges agreed that some of the six petitioners met the qualifications for standing, they
concluded the nearly 50 contentions raised were not admissible for an evidentiary hearing. The
judges held that the contentions either were not relevant to the application or did not establish a
genuine dispute with aspects of the application.
The NRC’s hearing process allows interested parties who might be affected by a proposed
licensing action to challenge the application on technical (safety) or environmental grounds. Most
hearings are conducted by licensing boards appointed from the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board
Panel, a group of administrative judges independent of the NRC staff. Board rulings may be
appealed to the Commission.
Holtec, a vendor of dry cask storage systems, has proposed to store spent nuclear fuel from
the nation’s commercial nuclear power plants at a facility in Lea County, in the southeastern corner
of New Mexico. Hearing petitions were filed by Beyond Nuclear, the Sierra Club and the Fasken
Land and Minerals and Permian Basin Land and Royalty Owners, which were granted standing.
Two other petitioners – a coalition of several different organizations and NAC International, a rival
dry storage cask vendor – were denied standing. The standing of a sixth petitioner, the Alliance for
Environmental Strategies, was not decided.
the agency website, under Holtec International 72-1051.
Original source can be found here.