The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission didn’t get sued nearly as often as usual during 2012, but two of its 19 pending cases involve issues close to Augusta.
According to an annual litigation status report prepared by Solicitor Andrew P. Averbach, the commission was sued just five times last year – well below the average of 10.6 lawsuits per year over the past decade.
At the top of the list of active cases is a complaint from Aiken County and other South Carolina parties that want the courts to force the NRC to resume the license review process for the Yucca Mountain project in Nevada, a site vetted as a permanent nuclear waste repository that was canceled in 2010 by the Obama administration. The case awaits further action in the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Also pending is a case filed by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, which argued against the issuance of a combined operating license for the Plant Vogtle expansion on grounds it failed to take into account lessons learned from the Fukushima accident in Japan. The case was consolidated with a companion suit challenging the NRC’s approval of the AP-1000 reactor.