Toshiba face nuclear upset in US

Licensing of two American nuclear reactors may be affected after the US Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruled in favour of its opponents, who have argued that it goes against […]

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By Tom Gibson

Licensing of two American nuclear reactors may be affected after the US Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruled in favour of its opponents, who have argued that it goes against American Law.

Brett Jarmer, a lawyer for the opposition of the plants, the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Coalition, said: “Federal law is clear that foreign controlled corporations are not eligible to apply for a license to build and operate nuclear power plants. The evidence is that Toshiba is in control of the project and this precludes obtaining an NRC license for South Texas Project 3 & 4.”

In April the Nuclear Regulatory Commission told Unistar Nuclear Energy it could not get an operating license for a reactor in Maryland because it was owned by France’s EDF. Foreign investment in US nuclear is not prohibited, but those with full control are.

Karen Hadden, Director of SEED Coalition expressed concern that foreign ownership of nuclear plants could result in an attack on the US: “What if a foreign company runs a U.S. reactor carelessly? What if a nation that’s friendly today becomes hostile toward the US in the future and tries threaten us with our own reactors?”

Susan Dancer, President of South Texas Association for Responsible Energy said nuclear was too risky and condemned foreign safety records: “Japanese investors would have us believe that they can come to America and safely build, own and operate nuclear plants, and that we should not concern ourselves with passé laws and regulations, but the Fukushima disaster has demonstrated the flawed Japanese model of nuclear safety. Our nuclear reactors should be controlled by the people most concerned about our country: fellow Americans.”