10-3-11 Update on Petition to NRC by Mothers for Peace and 44 other groups: Suspend All Licensing

In response to the Emergency Petition filed by San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace and 44 other groups, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) denied the Petitioners’ request that the agency suspend all licensing proceedings until after the lessons of Fukushima are learned.

The Commissioners reasoned that

These petitioners have not shown that continuation of licensing proceedings, pending consideration of the rulemaking petition, would “jeopardize the public health and safety, prove an obstacle to fair and efficient decision making, or prevent appropriate implementation of any pertinent rule or policy changes that might emerge” from our continued evaluation of the impacts of the events in Japan.

However, the ruling left open the door for opponents of individual plant licensing proceedings to bring new contentions if they relate to recommendations of the Task Force that are accepted by the Commissioners.

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (SLOMFP) attorney Diane Curran has filed such a new contention. The new contention challenges

the adequacy of the Environmental Report for the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant on the basis that it fails to address the extraordinary environmental and safety implications of the findings and recommendations raised by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Fukushima Task Force in its report, “Recommendations for Enhancing Reactor Safety in the 21st Century.”  SLOMFP respectfully submits that admitting the new contention is necessary to ensure that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission fulfills its non-discretionary duty under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) to consider the new and significant information set forth in the Task Force Report before it makes a decision regarding Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s (“PG&E’s”) application for a renewed license.

The NRC has scheduled oral arguments on this new contention for October 13, 2011.

link to original legal filing (April 2011)

motion to admit new contention (August 2011)

NRC decision re: Emergency Petition (September 2011)

schedule for Oral Argument (September 2011)