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Missouri Environmental Group Sues Over Long-Term Risks Of Nuclear Waste

Ameren's Callaway reactor is the only commercial nuclear power plant in Missouri.
Missouri Coalition for the Environment

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment is one of several groups filing suit against the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to try to get the agency to address the long-term storage of nuclear waste.

That suit follows similar cases filed by the states of New York, Connecticut, and Vermont, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Prairie Island Indian Community in Minnesota.

Diane Curran is one of the attorneys representing the Coalition and other petitioners.

"The purpose of this lawsuit is to force the NRC to reckon with the serious safety and environmental risk posed by spent fuel, and also the cost of taking care of it, before they license reactors," Curran said.

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment’s Ed Smith says it’s time to stop kicking the can down the road when it comes to the risks and costs of nuclear waste.

"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is not doing its job, that's what it comes down to," Smith said. "And that’s to have a plan for long term waste storage, and make sure that it’s protective of the environment."

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment has filed multiple legal challenges trying to stop the NRC from re-licensing Ameren’s Callaway Nuclear Power Plant.

Ameren's current 40-year operating license for Missouri’s only nuclear power plant expires in 2024.

Follow Véronique LaCapra on Twitter: @KWMUScience