03 Jun '11, 2am

States fight back against nuclear power, even as the feds remain in its thrall

States fight back against nuclear power, even as the feds remain in its thrall

The federal bureaucracy, too, stands wholly behind nuclear power. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) monitors compliance with safety standards and approves lifespan extensions for nuclear power plants. So far, it has not turned down a single renewal application: 62 reactors have already received approval of an extension of their 40-year lifespans to 60 years; a dozen more applications are pending. The NRC was embarrassed by an internal investigation in September 2007 which revealed that in more than 70 percent of cases, text from industry's applications was copied verbatim into the NRC's approvals. Nuclear experts like Michele Boyd of the Physicians for Social Responsibility had assumed that the old plants built during the 1960s and '70s could not be approved today [PDF ], but their lifespan extensions keep getting the OK. One NRC spokesperson commented , "We have a h...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/nuclear/2011-06-02-states-fight-back...

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