US nuclear licence renewals delayed

The US will not be able to renew licences for operating nuclear plants for a few years due to a federal court ruling, it was announced yesterday. Gregory Jaczko, departing […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The US will not be able to renew licences for operating nuclear plants for a few years due to a federal court ruling, it was announced yesterday.

Gregory Jaczko, departing chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said practical impact of the plants will be limited and the reactors that have applied for a 20-year licence renewal should be able to continue operating while the agency addresses the ruling.

The NRC last month was asked to amend rules regarding the storage of nuclear fuel at operating reactors as it failed to conduct an environmental review in 2010. The licence renewals will not be issued until a new environmental review is in place.

In his final news conference as chairman, Jaczko also urged the agency to make post-Fukushima improvements to nuclear plants mandatory. He also warned there are signs of nuclear industry “pushback” against some of the measures proposed in the shutdown of the Japanese facility.