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Victory for Anti-Nuclear Power Movement in the US

Score two for the movement against nuclear power in this country.

In June, the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was in violation of the law for failing to adequately assess the environmental hazards involved in the storage of nuclear waste, a point that anti-nuke activists have been making for years and years.

In response to that court ruling, the NRC this week issued a statement that it was stopping the issuing of permits for new nuclear power construction, as well as for life extensions on old existing plants, until it satisfies the court’s concerns.

The NRC’s decision puts the breaks on new construction permits for 16 reactors, and renewal permits for 14 more.

That’s a welcome move.

Still, it’s not a permanent solution because the NRC is likely to go back to the court sometime in the not too distant future to try to convince the judges that its waste storage plans are somehow adequate.

Good luck with that!

Because the truth of the matter is that there is no safe way to store nuclear waste, either in the short term or in the long term—and by the long term, I mean the really long term: It takes 100,000 years before this stuff stops being hazardous.

Here’s hoping that federal judges keep seeing the folly and falsity in all of this.

Meantime, let’s celebrate a victory for the anti-nuke movement.

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Matthew Rothschild

Matthew Rothschild

Matthew Rothschild is senior editor of The Progressive magazine.

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