Wednesday, December 10, 2008

NRC Blames WestCan Council for Rejection of Contentions

In yesterday's post on the Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc. is reported that the presidentially appointed commission that oversees the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has rejected an appeal by the groups and a state assemblyman challenging the Indian Point license renewal application under the umbrella of WestCAN.

The groups include the Westchester Citizens Awareness Network (WestCAN), Rockland County Conservation Association, Public Health and Sustainable Energy (PHASE), Sierra Club -- Atlantic Chapter and state Assemblyman Richard Brodsky.

On July 31, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board panel handling the Indian Point license renewal hearing expelled WestCAN from the proceeding. It did so because the counsel for WestCAN repeatedly disregarded agency regulations and instructions from the panel.

In its ruling Tuesday, the commission upheld the expulsion, noting that the actions by WestCAN's counsel have "seriously disrupted the Board's efforts to meet its responsibility to conduct a fair, orderly and efficient hearing, has interfered with the other participants' efforts to use their own litigation resources efficiently, and has made our own review of the appellate documents and the underlying record far more time-consuming than necessary."

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said WestCAN does have additional appeal power.

"There’s no further recourse with the NRC. Certainly they have the options if they want to challenge this in federal court, they could seek do so, but as far as the NRC is concerned, this is the end of the line as far as any further appeals."

The commission has also taken the rare step of ordering the NRC's Office of the Secretary to not accept any further filings from Susan Shapiro or Sarah Wagner, the lawyers for WestCAN, unless they meet all procedural requirements. That applies to all NRC proceedings. This has happened in only one other NRC hearing, involving the Millstone case in Connecticut.
Comment from GNB:
"Sherwood Martinelli suggested to Susan Shapiro from the very onset that the original petition be filed UNDER HIS NAME as a NON ATTORNEY as prose petitioners are given FAR MORE room to make mistakes and remain in the process....SUSAN OBJECTED, insisted she be the LEAD FILER. If Susan had followed Sherwood's advice, FUSE USA's September filing would STILL BE INTACT, as would the one filed in October, and further Sherwood NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN EXPELLED from the proceedings as an intervener after getting frustrated with the NRC in December."

1 comment:

Dave Channon said...

The NRC grasps at straws to postpone the inevitable end of nuclear power. Better than grasping hot fuel rods. Thanks to the brave and dedicated folks who keep up the good fight.