Holtec’s Initial Brief in Beyond Nuclear v. NRC

Halt Holtec AFES tee shirt

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

On December 1, 2023, Holtec International, Intervenor for Respondent, filed its Initial Brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the case Beyond Nuclear, et al., versus U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Beyond Nuclear is one of several Petitioners which have filed federal appeals against NRC, the Respondent’s, approval for a construction and operation license for Holtec International’s consolidated interim storage facility scheme in southeastern New Mexico.

Diane Curran of Washington, D.C., and Mindy Goldstein of Atlanta, GA, serve as Beyond Nuclear’s legal counsel.

Beyond Nuclear’s federal appeals focus on NRC’s violation of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as Amended, as well as the Administrative Procedure Act, when it approved Holtec’s CISF license on May 9, 2023.

Other environmental Petitioners opposed to Holtec’s CISF include Don’t Waste Michigan, et al., a national grassroots environmental coalition (legal counsel Terry Lodge of Toledo, Ohio), as well as Sierra Club (legal counsel Wally Taylor of Cedar Rapids, Iowa).

Fasken Land and Minerals, Ltd. and Permian Basin Land and Royalty Owners are also Petitioners before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Holtec’s entire Argument against Beyond Nuclear’s federal appeal follows:

Beyond Nuclear’s Claims Should Be Rejected

With respect to Beyond Nuclear’s claims, Holtec agrees with the responses set forth by Federal Respondents and Amicus Curiae Nuclear Energy Institute (“NEI”). Fed-Br. at 41-48; NEI-Br. at 22-24. Even if the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) cannot currently take ownership of fuel stored at Holtec’s facility, Holtec can (and will) store spent fuel owned by private parties. This is indisputably a legally authorized pathway for Holtec to use the license. Moreover, there is no bar against Holtec contemplating a future where DOE is permitted to store spent fuel at the facility.

[Page 12, or 23 or 62 on PDF counter, Holtec Initial Brief]

Petitioners’ Reply Briefs are due December 22, 2023. After the Deferred Appendix is submitted by January 16, 2024, and all parties’ Final Briefs by January 23, 2024, the D.C. Circuit Court can schedule oral arguments.

Beyond Nuclear and others have opposed and resisted Holtec’s CISF in NM since even before Holtec announced its submission of the license application to NRC on Nuclear Fool’s Day, April 1, 2017.

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