197 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2006
In the 1977 Amendments to the Clean Air Act, Congress granted to the States and their political subdivisions authority to regulate radioactive air emissions from nuclear generating plants. This Article is designed to provide an introduction to the technical issues that attorneys, decisionmakers, and intervenors must consider when a State contemplates establishing radioactive air emission standards independent of, and possibly more stringent than, federal standards. The article contains an extensive analysis of: (1) the mechanisms by which radionuclides are created at nuclear generating plants and released to the environment; (2) the manner in which radionuclides move through the environment to eventually harm receptors; (3) the ways in which radionuclides affect human organisms; (4) the role of atmospheric and environmental transport modeling in establishing and enforcing radioactive air emission standards, including the potential weaknesses of such modeling; (5) the adequacy of existing federal standards; and (6) prospects or improving those standards. The article also contains an extensive discussion of the various ways in which environmental standards may be created and expressed.
Keywords: Environmental Law, Clean Air Act, Radioactive Air Emissions, Environmental Federalism, Environmental Modeling, Environmental Standards
JEL Classification: K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Stensvaag, John-Mark, Regulating Radioactive Air Emissions from Nuclear Generating Plants: A Primer for Attorneys, Decisionmakers, and Intervenors. Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 78, No. 1, 1983. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=894345