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STATE ASKS NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION FOR HEARING ON MAINE YANKEE WASTE STORAGE
November 24, 2002
NOVEMBER 15, 2002
STEVEN ROWE, ATTORNEY GENERAL
TONY SPRAGUE, GOVERNOR'S OFFICE
Attorney General Steven Rowe today filed a petition with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission ("NRC") requesting that the NRC hold a hearing regarding the plan to store nuclear waste at the Maine Yankee Atomic Power Station in Wiscasset.
The petition was filed with the cooperation and support of Governor Angus S. King, Jr., who stated, "Our purpose is simply to ensure that the NRC applies a new set of standards when considering the management of high-level spent nuclear fuel at local facilities such as Maine Yankee. The Attorney General and I also want to continue to press the federal Department of Energy and the NRC on more specific plans regarding the time table for the removal of this waste from Wiscasset."
Rowe stated, "The purpose of filing this petition is two-fold. First, we want to clarify State and local responsibilities for providing public safety and emergency response services. We want to know precisely what services the NRC expects the State and the host communities to provide and who the NRC expects to pay for those services. Second, we want to know the time schedule for removing the spent fuel from Maine. We certainly expect that the removal will be completed before expiration of the 20 year licensed life of the Maine Yankee storage facility."
Rowe and King stressed that the petition for a hearing with the NRC is not intended to alarm Maine residents about the present safety of the Maine Yankee fuel storage site. "With this petition, we are not raising safety concerns about short-term storage. Our concern is longer term. The present storage site is licensed to Maine Yankee for 20 years. The federal Department of Energy has stated that it may be 50 years or more before the fuel can be removed from Maine. That doesn't add up. It is clearly unacceptable," Rowe said.
The requested hearing would formally be to address the NRC's October 16, 2002 Order for Interim Safeguards and Security Compensatory Measures for the Interim Spent Fuel Installation ("ISFSI") that is being constructed at Maine Yankee.