NRC Board Denies Hearing on Holtec Planned Storage Facility

While the three judges agreed some of the six petitioners met the qualifications for standing, they concluded the nearly 50 contentions raised were not admissible for an evidentiary hearing, holding that the contentions either were not relevant to the application or did not establish a genuine dispute with aspects of the application.

A Nuclear Regulatory Commission Atomic Safety and Licensing Board on May 7 denied requests by several petitioners to hold an evidentiary hearing challenging Holtec International's license application to build and operate a Consolidated Interim Storage (CIS) facility for spent nuclear fuel in southeastern New Mexico. Holtec initially sought approval to store 50 canisters containing spent fuel for 40 years.

Holtec's site is located 32 miles east of Carlsbad, N.M., and 34 miles west of Hobbs, N.M.

The commission announced that the three-judge board held oral arguments in Albuquerque in January on the standing of the various petitioners and the admissibility of their proposed contentions under NRC regulations. While the judges agreed some of the six petitioners met the qualifications for standing, they concluded the nearly 50 contentions raised were not admissible for an evidentiary hearing, holding that the contentions either were not relevant to the application or did not establish a genuine dispute with aspects of the application.

The NRC's hearing process allows interested parties who might be affected by a proposed licensing action to challenge the application on technical (safety) or environmental grounds. Most hearings are conducted by licensing boards appointed from the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, a group of administrative judges independent of the NRC staff. Board rulings may be appealed to the full commission.

Holtec, a vendor of dry cask storage systems, has proposed to store spent nuclear fuel from U.S. commercial nuclear power plants at a facility in Lea County, in the southeastern corner of New Mexico. Hearing petitions were filed by Beyond Nuclear, the Sierra Club, and the Fasken Land and Minerals and Permian Basin Land and Royalty Owners, which were granted standing. Two other petitioners – a coalition of several different organizations and NAC International, a rival dry storage cask vendor – were denied standing, and the standing of the sixth petitioner, the Alliance for Environmental Strategies, was not decided.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - June 2022

    June 2022

    Featuring:

    • SAFETY CULTURE
      Corporate Safety Culture Is Workplace Culture
    • HEAT STRESS
      Keeping Workers Safe from Heat-Related Illnesses & Injuries
    • EMPLOYEE HEALTH SCREENING
      Should Employers Consider Oral Fluid Drug Testing?
    • PPE FOR WOMEN
      Addressing Physical Differences
    View This Issue