Pennsylvania Seeks to Halt TMI Restart
Pennsylvania officials and two public interest groups sought an emergency court order Monday to block restarting of the undamaged Three Mile Island nuclear reactor, which has been cleared to resume operations.
Unanswered questions remain about the safety of the plant and the ability of the operator, GPU Nuclear, to run it, said the petitions filed with the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.
“On an issue that affects the health and safety of the citizens of Pennsylvania, and the integrity of their environment, it is essential that hearings required by law take place before the anticipated restart of TMI-1,” the state’s petition said.
It sought an emergency ruling temporarily nullifying the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s order last Wednesday permitting the Unit 1 reactor to be restarted. Unit 1, in Middletown, Pa., was closed for refueling and was undamaged in the March, 1979, accident that crippled and contaminated its twin, Unit 2, on which cleanup continues.
Also seeking to block the unit’s reopening were Three Mile Island Alert, a citizens’ group, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.