Beyond Nuclear v. NRC, Initial Replies opposing Holtec’s CISF in NM

Halt Holtec AFES tee shirt

[Image: Tee shirt design by Noel Marquez, Alliance for Environmental Strategies, southeastern New Mexico]

On December 22, 2023, Beyond Nuclear’s legal counsel, Diane Curran in Washington, D.C., and Mindy Goldstein in Atlanta, GA, submitted our Initial Reply Brief in the case Beyond Nuclear versus U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The federal appeal is before the D.C. Circuit Court, often referred to as the “second highest court in the land,” regarding Holtec’s consolidated interim storage facility scheme in New Mexico.

Our environmental allies in resisting Holtec’s CISF, Don’t Waste Michigan, et al. (a six-group national grassroots environmental coalition–Citizens’ Environmental Coalition of NY, Citizens For Alternatives To Chemical Contamination of MI, Nuclear Energy Information Service of IL, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace of CA, and Nuclear Issues Study Group of NM, since renamed Demand Nuclear Abolition, DNA), and Sierra Club, also filed their Reply Brief. Their legal counsel are Terry Lodge of Toledo, OH, and Wally Taylor of Cedar Rapids, IA, respectively.

So too did Fasken Land and Minerals, Ltd. and Permian Basin Land and Royalty Owners, which also oppose Holtec’s CISF in NM. (Fasken/PBLRO are also appealing NRC’s approval of the Holtec CISF construction and operation license in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, in New Orleans.)

Written filings by all parties are due next month with the D.C. Circuit case. After that, the three-judge panel can schedule oral arguments if it so chooses.

Beyond Nuclear, and allies, have opposed Holtec’s CISF since it was first proposed, many long years ago. See, for example, our coalition letter from October 2016, opposed to a very similar dump, targeted just 40-miles to the east, Waste Control Specialists, LLC’s (since renamed Interim Storage Partners, LLC) CISF in Andrews County, Texas, and opposed to the CISF scheme’s legality in general (which has long included the Holtec proposal in NM).

The opponents to Holtec’s CISF, listed above, likewise have opposed ISP’s CISF, before the same federal appeals courts. In late August 2023, a three-judge panel at the 5th Circuit ruled in favor of challenges by the State of Texas, as well as Fasken/PBLRO, invalidating NRC’s license approval of ISP’s CISF. NRC and ISP have appealed en banc to the 5th Circuit.

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