Federal and State Responsibilities in the Environmental Control of Nuclear Power Plants


This Note will investigate the present scheme of environmental regulation for nuclear power facilities, with primary emphasis on inter-governmental relations in the regulatory process. As will be shown, there has, in the past, been a complete dichotomy in the environmental control of nuclear power plants, with the federal government having sole responsibility for regulating radiological factors, and the states regulating all non-radiological aspects. A regulatory split continues, but now, for the first time, all environmental factors must be considered in the federal nuclear power plant licensing process as a result of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the decision in Calvert Cliffs Coordinating Committee v. Atomic EnergyCommission. The profound effect of these recent developments will be analyzed to determine probable future trends in the environmental regulation of nuclear power facilities.

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