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Settlement cleanup Sequoyah fuels, US

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

(January 19, 1996) In November 1995, Native Americans for a Clean Environment (NACE) and the Cherokee Nation appealed a settlement agreement forged earlier last year by Sequoyah Fuels Corp. (SFC) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regarding the cleanup of the company's closed conversion plant at Gore, Oklahama, US.

(445.4412) WISE Amsterdam - NRC and SFC entered into a settlement agreement that limited SFC's liability to pay for the cleanup of the closed plant and protected the assets of SFC's corporate parent, General Atomics (GA). The settlement agreement curtailed litigation against SFC and GA by HRC, and was accompanied by the end of litigation by the companies.

The basis of the appeal by NACE is that the settlement agreement approved by two out of three of the administrative judges sitting on the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board in the case had "violated its own agency's decommissioning regulations, misinterpreted the agency's scope of authority, failed to protect the public health and safety, and did not provide any assurance that the responsible parties will clean up the contamination".

NRC had held in an October 1993 order that GA and SFC were both liable for cleanup costs that could amount to US$86 million. The settlement agreement rescinded that order and endorsed the view that the settlement agreement represented a "good-faith effort to provide for the decommissioning of the Sequoyah facility".

Source: Nuclear Fuel, 20 November 1995
Contact: Native Americans for Clean Environment (NACE), PO Box 1671, Tahlequah OK 74465, USA. Tel: +1-918-458 4322; Fax: +1-918- 458 0322