Court Recognizes Spent Fuel Safety Threat

Statement from Jennifer Kim, NJPIRG, on Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in favor of New Jersey’s petition against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission


TRENTON–“We’re pleased the Court recognized that nuclear waste storage poses a significant health and safety threat and the NRC’s storage rules demand further scrutiny.”

“Spent fuel storage is a very real problem for New Jerseyans and Governor Christie was right to challenge the NRC. There is more spent fuel stored at Oyster Creek, the oldest operating nuclear plant in the country, than in Fukushima. There’s a huge potential for future leaks or fires, and the Court rightfully recognized that threat.”

 “New Jersey’s four nuclear power plants produce hundreds of metric tons of radioactive waste every year and store that waste onsite.  Storing radioactive waste in our communities for any amount of time is a huge risk. Even if an old plant like Oyster Creek is no longer operational, the radioactivity of the spent fuel rods still lives on.”

 “NJPIRG research found that the drinking water for 3.3 million New Jerseyans comes from a source within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant. If there was a problem with the spent fuel that led to radioactivity in our air or water it would be a huge threat for the 3.3 million New Jerseyans that get their drinking water from within 50 miles of a nuclear plant.”

 “While the onus is on the NRC to show how long spent fuel could be safety stored in New Jersey, more and more dangerous radioactive waste continues to pile up. Gov. Christie should move New Jersey to safer energy that don’t come with indefinite radioactive problems. For the waste that already exists, PSEG & Exelon should be using the safest storage options possible on site to reduce the threat to local communities.”
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For more information on NJPIRG’s Campaign for Safe Energy, visit

For more information on the Court decision click here.