Amend the Atomic Energy Act

The day after the Federal Court of Appeals decision on a state’s role in re-licensing nuclear reactors, and what a state legislature can and cannot say (or hear) Nancy Burton proposed that the Atomic Energy Act be amended. Read her OpEd here on Amend the Atomic Energy Act

It all came to a head last week when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit delivered a brutal decision castigating those Vermont state officials for using economic and environmental issues as “code words” for radiation safety and impugning their motives. The Court scrapped two state statutes that required VY to obtain state approval to extend its licensing life, although the statutes never mentioned radiation hazards.

The bullying language was unusual for a federal appellate court. The Court accused legislators of “disguising their comments” to avoid addressing radiation hazards directly and applying a “consistent effort . . . to obfuscate the record through the use of misleading statements.”

The amendment would read: “Nothing herein [Atomic Energy Act of 1954, 42 U.S.C. §2011 et seq.] shall prohibit a state from ordering permanent cessation of a nuclear power plant operations within its boundaries for reasons of public health and safety.”

Nancy Burton is with the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone a.k.a. “Mothball Millstone.” Millstone is a 1970s nuclear reactor owned by Dominion Energy. For more information contact Nancy: 203-938-3952

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