A federal appeals court in Cincinnati has ruled that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) acted properly in licensing the use of ventilated, dry storage casks for spent nuclear fuel at Consumer Power Co.'s Palisades nuclear plant. Despite challenges from public interest groups and the attorney general of Michigan, the court found adequate input from the public in the NRC licensing process, which is used for all reactor sites nationwide. Michael G. Morris, Consumers Power president, said the eight casks currently used at the Palisades plant are for temporary storage only and meet strict federal standards. Morris called upon Congress to compel the Department of Energy to meet its obligation to accept spent fuel from reactor sites beginning in 1998: "I am pleased that the NRC was successful in this important court case. I will be even more pleased when DOE lives up to its responsibility to accept spent fuel from the nation's commercial nuclear power plants."
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