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NRC Rule on Spent Fuel Allows New Plants To Move Forward

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On Sept. 15, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it is revising its rules to allow storage of spent nuclear fuel for at least 60 years after the licensed life of any reactor, doubling the time previously allowed. The fuel can be stored on-site or at independent spent-fuel storage installations without significant environmental impacts, says NRC. The change gives federal officials more time to find a permanent storage solution for the nation’s spent nuclear fuel. Earlier this year, the Obama Administration stopped work on the Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste depository in Nevada. An Obama-named commission is to recommend new options by January 2012. The Nuclear Energy Institute says the ruling means that licensing of new nuclear plants can progress.

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