Morning Briefing - March 21, 2019
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March 21, 2019

Lawyer Takes NRC to Court Over San Onofre Inspection Documents

By ExchangeMonitor

A San Diego attorney is asking a federal judge to force the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to release documents related to investigations of problems related to transfer of spent fuel to dry storage at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in California.

Michael Aguirre, a familiar legal presence in cases involving used fuel management at the retired nuclear power plant, said he in December requested paperwork related to two cases: An Aug. 3, 2018, mishap in loading a used fuel canister into its storage pad; and earlier NRC questions over the design of casks that were being used in the process.

He said the nuclear industry regulator has to date largely ignored his requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

“To date, the NRC has engaged in stonewall tactics and has denied Plaintiff’s request for records without any reasonable justification. The NRC’s actions are inapposite FOIA’s policy of broad disclosure of government documents and maximum feasible public access to government information,” Maria Severson, Aguirre’s law partner, wrote in a complaint filed March 14 in U.S. District Court for Southern California.

Aguirre is seeking the release of the documents, reimbursement of legal fees, and “other and further relief as this Court may deem just and proper.”

On Wednesday, the NRC said it could not publicly discuss pending litigation.