The rule also includes a petition to revise and integrate all environmental regulations related to spent fuel storage.
"The proposed rule marks a turning point for the NRC. After thirty years of making baselessly optimistic 'reasonable assurance' findings about the future availability of a disposal solution for spent reactor fuel, and having allowed many thousands of tons to accumulate at reactor sites around the country based on those findings, the NRC has finally stopped issuing them. Instead of confidently assuring the public that human health and the environment will be protected from highly radioactive spent fuel as long as it remains dangerous, the NRC now claims only to have hope in a theoretical possibility."
The complete COMMENTS can be found at http://www.nirs.org/radwaste/environmentalgroupcomments122013.pdf
Supporting expert declarations can be found at: http://www.nirs.org/radwaste/wasteconfidence.htm
The Federal Court of Appeals ordered the agency to revise its GEIS and Waste Confidence Rule because the NRC had no technical basis for asserting that current on-site storage practices in fuel pools and dry casks would be safe for the indefinite future. The court ruling also forced the NRC to stop licensing or relicensing any nuclear facilities until its errors were corrected. The NRC has set a schedule to adopt its new Waste Confidence rule within two years so that it can resume the issuing of licenses, even though its own staff declared it would take at least seven years to do an adequate job.
The GEIS is an assessment of the environmental impacts associated with the continued storage of spent nuclear fuel after the closure of nuclear plants. The Waste Confidence Rule states that the NRC has confidence that, even though it has failed to figure out what to do with radioactive waste for the 60 years of commercial reactors, it will solve the problem “in time” to continue allowing the creation of more radioactive wastes.
More information about issues related to radioactive waste storage, both nationwide and specifically at Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, can be found at http://mothersforpeace.org/collections/radioactive-waste