Somehow a lot of news over at our favorite nuclear regulatory body managed to slip through our paltry summer coverage.
Commissioner Allison Macfarlane was confirmed as the new chairwoman of the NRC in late June. Chairwoman Macfarlane is a geologist, a science that is of growing concern to nuclear regulators due to recent natural disasters.
In June, the DC Circuit ruled in New York v. NRC that the NRC has not properly reviewed plans for storing spent fuel at plants. In early August the commissioners voted to suspend licensing indefinitely while they review their procedures. Reviews will continue, but final licensing has been put on hold. This affects not only new proposals but also existing plants seeking renewals.
Dr. Macfarlane appears much more interested in finding a new site for waste storage. She has called out for Congress and the White House to find a new solution for spent fuel storage.
We’ll keep you updated as we find out more about what a post Jaczko NRC looks like. I’ll also probably post my thoughts on New York v. NRC at some point.
Macfarlane Confirmed by U.S. Senate to Lead Nuclear Regulator (Bloomberg)
For New Nuclear Chief, Concerns Over Plant Safety (NYT)
US suspends reactor licensing decisions (Nuclear Engineering International)
New York v. NRC