by Will Davis
We continue now our look at Appendix III of WASH-1250, the unpublished (except in final draft form) AEC study on reactor safety from 1973. This appendix describes the rise of the anti-nuclear movement in the United States; the previous installment contains roughly the first half of this important historical record. We now present the second part, word for word unaltered.
WASH 1250 / Appendix III Continued
III.5 NEPA BECOMES LAW
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), an historic piece of legislation, became law on January 1, 1970, but how profound an effect it would have on the AEC licensing program did not become evident until months later. The AEC published its first policy statement implementing NEPA on April 2, 1970, and a revised policy statement on December 4. In its policy statement, the AEC noted that the Water Quality Improvement Act of 1970 required an applicant for an AEC facility license to provide, before the license is issued, a certification from the appropriate State or Federal agency that applicable water quality standards would be met. The AEC would thus accept this certification with respect to these efforts. The AEC’s implementation of NEPA was contested in Federal Court in a proceeding involving the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant in Maryland.
The Circuit Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit issued a decision in the Calvert Cliffs case on July 23, 1971, directing changes in the AEC’s implementation of NEPA. The court charged that the AEC had “made a mockery” of NEPA. On August 27, the Commission’s new Chairman, James R. Schlesinger, issued a statement asserting that the Commission would not appeal the Court decision, and would issue revised regulations to implement that decision.
Chairman Schlesinger said:
“The effect of our revised regulations will be to make the Atomic Energy Commission directly responsible for evaluating
by Will Davis