WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has thrown out a rule that allows nuclear power plants to store radioactive waste at reactor sites for up to 60 years after a plant shuts down.
The appeals court, in a unanimous ruling Friday, said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission did not fully evaluate the risks associated with long-term storage of waste. The court said on-site storage has been "optimistically labeled" as temporary, but has stretched on for decades.
The Obama administration has cut off funding for a proposed nuclear waste dump in Nevada, but has not identified an alternative site.
The appeals court said the NRC should complete a detailed environmental review of on-site storage or explain why one is not needed.
The lawsuit was filed by four Northeastern states, led by New York.