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AG Healey calls on Congress to change nuclear fuel rod storage policies

By Shaun Zinck | Jun 25, 2015

Maura healey
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is urging Congress to pass a law regulating the safe disposal of spent fuel rods at nuclear power plants. | Massachusetts Attorney General

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, urging Congress to regulate the disposal of spent fuel rods at nuclear power plants.

The letter was addressed to committee chairman U.S. Sen. James Inhofe and ranking member Sen. Barbara Boxer, adding the regulation would help protect the health and well-being of residents and the environment.

“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has long had an obligation to develop meaningful long-term solutions to the current on-site storage of nuclear waste in facilities across the country, yet it has failed to do so,” Healey said in her letter. “Its failure to act poses risks to public safety and the environment.”

Healey said her office has urged the NRC since 2006 to change the fuel rod storage regulations, but the commission has not changed its policies.

Healey said there must be proper security at decommissioned nuclear plants that have stored spent fuel, and that all spent fuel rods should be transferred to dry cask storages away from wet pools.

“While we are hopeful the federal government will fulfill its obligations to provide a long-term storage solution, the absence of a long-term solution has created issues for states and their residents that need to be addressed now,” Healey said.

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