CHAPTER 446*
NUCLEAR ENERGY

      *See Sec. 28-31 re nuclear safety emergency preparedness account and program.

Table of Contents

Sec. 22a-135. (Formerly Sec. 19-408a). Duties of Department of Environmental Protection re nuclear energy and radiation. Fees. Reporting of nuclear incidents. Posting of planned radiation releases.
Sec. 22a-136. Moratorium on construction of nuclear power facilities.
Sec. 22a-137. Burial of nuclear radioactive waste regulated. Certain low-level wastes exempted.
Secs. 22a-138 to 22a-147.

      Sec. 22a-135. (Formerly Sec. 19-408a). Duties of Department of Environmental Protection re nuclear energy and radiation. Fees. Reporting of nuclear incidents. Posting of planned radiation releases. (a) The Department of Environmental Protection shall: (1) Review the plans for and operation of safety programs at nuclear plants; (2) make recommendations to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission concerning third-party inspection of components and construction of nuclear plants for the purpose of improving quality assurance plans and programs; (3) require the immediate reporting to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection or his designee, which may be another state agency, by licensees of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission which operate nuclear power generating facilities in this state as soon as the licensee has knowledge or, in the exercise of reasonable care should have had knowledge of (A) any release of radiation which is unplanned, unmonitored or which exceeds design standards and specifications established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and (B) any occurrence, incident or other abnormal circumstance, unless it is immediately evident that such occurrence, incident or circumstance is not required to be reported within twenty-four hours or sooner to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; (4) monitor radiation originating from nuclear plants and perform tests to detect any buildup of radioactivity in the soil, water, plants or animals of the state; (5) review the training and education of workers at nuclear plants to insure awareness of the possible risks of cancer and future genetic effects; (6) represent the interests of the state in federal and state regulatory hearings and other administrative actions concerning nuclear plants which affect the state; (7) intervene in federal proceedings and petition federal agencies for revision of existing regulations where appropriate; (8) conduct periodic on-site evaluations of the effectiveness and enforcement of federal regulations for the packaging and transportation of radioactive material; (9) study plans for, and hazards inherent in the decommissioning of Connecticut nuclear plants including the possible future use of land now in use by a nuclear power facility; (10) study the storage problems posed by high level wastes; (11) study and, in cooperation with the state police, monitor the security of nuclear plants to assure that the dangers from sabotage and terrorism are minimized; (12) monitor sources of ionizing radiation, microwave radiation and radioactive materials within the state; (13) review the state emergency plan for radiation safety; and (14) investigate out-of-state potential radiological hazards which may have a significant adverse effect upon the health or safety of the people of the state. The commissioner shall charge each of the four nuclear-powered commercial electric power generating plants an annual fee of sixty thousand dollars for monitoring radiation released from such plants. Nuclear fuels radiation facilities shall pay an annual fee of fifteen thousand dollars for monitoring such plants.

      (b) In addition to the reporting required of a licensee pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section, the department may require the reporting immediately or within such time period as the department may designate of any additional occurrence, incident or other abnormal circumstance which is not required to be reported within twenty-four hours or sooner to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The department shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to carry out the provisions of this subsection.

      (c) Licensees shall post on their web sites all plans for routine and continuous releases of radiation to the atmosphere, including dates, times and fissile materials, as soon as such releases are scheduled.

      (P.A. 78-214, S. 1, 4; P.A. 80-351, S. 1, 5; P.A. 90-231, S. 4, 28; P.A. 91-369, S. 22, 36; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 121; P.A. 05-288, S. 100; P.A. 08-20, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 80-351 replaced previous Subsec. (a)(3) which had required immediate report to department "by nuclear facilities of any incidents required to be reported to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission" with more specific provisions and added Subsec. (b) re additional reports which may be required; Sec. 19-408a transferred to Sec. 22a-135 in 1981; P.A. 90-231 amended Subsec. (a) to require facilities to pay annual fees and provided that on and after July 1, 1993, the fees shall be prescribed by regulations; P.A. 91-369 amended Subsec. (a) to restate commissioner's authority to adopt regulations setting the fees required by this section; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 amended Subsec. (a) to increase annual monitoring fee for generating plants from $40,000 to $60,000 and annual monitoring fee for nuclear fuels radiation facilities from $10,000 to $15,000 and to delete provisions re regulations to prescribe amount of fees, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 05-288 made a technical change in Subsec. (b), effective July 13, 2005; P.A. 08-20 added Subsec. (c) re web site posting of planned radiation releases.

      See Sec. 22a-27i re exemption of municipality for one year.

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      Sec. 22a-136. Moratorium on construction of nuclear power facilities. No construction shall commence on a fifth nuclear power facility until the Commissioner of Environmental Protection finds that the United States Government, through its authorized agency, has identified and approved a demonstrable technology or means for the disposal of high level nuclear waste. As used in this section, "high level nuclear waste" means those aqueous wastes resulting from the operation of the first cycle of the solvent extraction system or equivalent and the concentrated wastes of the subsequent extraction cycles or equivalent in a facility for reprocessing irradiated reactor fuel and shall include spent fuel assemblies prior to fuel reprocessing.

      (P.A. 79-487.)

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      Sec. 22a-137. Burial of nuclear radioactive waste regulated. Certain low-level wastes exempted. (a) No individual, partnership, corporation or association, or state or local government or political subdivision or instrumentality thereof shall bury any nuclear radioactive waste within this state unless the General Assembly finds that the burial of such waste will not have a significant adverse effect upon the public health, safety and welfare of the state and approves, by special act, the burial of such waste. An application to bury such waste shall be submitted to the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate and shall be referred by them to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the environment.

      (b) Upon receipt of an application to bury nuclear radioactive waste, the committee shall notify the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and the Commissioner of Public Health and said commissioners shall submit to said committee, within forty-five days, an evaluation of the impact of the proposed burial upon the state.

      (c) Within sixty days of receipt of an application the committee shall hold a public hearing. Notice of the hearing shall be published for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper having general circulation in the county in which the proposed burial site is to be located, the last publication to be at least two weeks prior to the date of the hearing. Not less than thirty days prior to such public hearing, the committee shall give notice of such hearing by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the legislative body and the regional planning agency for the municipality in which the proposed burial site is to be located and for each contiguous municipality.

      (d) The committee shall report to the General Assembly its recommendation for approval or disapproval of the proposed burial and burial site. A recommendation for approval of the proposed burial and burial site shall include findings that such burial and burial site: (1) Will not have a significant adverse effect upon the health, safety, air or water quality, or the economy of the affected region and (2) will not significantly interfere with the orderly development of such region with due consideration having been given to any recommendations of the regional planning agencies and the municipal legislative bodies.

      (e) No state officer, agency or department shall approve or license any proposed burial or burial site or obtain any such approval or license from any state or federal agency or board unless such proposed burial and burial site have been approved by special act of the General Assembly.

      (f) The provisions of this section shall not apply to the disposal of low-level radioactive waste in accordance with the provisions of sections 22a-161 to 22a-162a, inclusive.

      (P.A. 79-488, S. 1-3; P.A. 91-337, S. 3, 15; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 06-76, S. 10.)

      History: P.A. 91-337 replaced existing Subsec. (f) re burial of certain waste with provisions re burial of low-level radioactive waste in accordance with the provisions of Secs. 22a-161 to 22a-165f, inclusive; P.A. 93-381 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of public health and addiction services for commissioner and department of health services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 06-76 amended Subsec. (f) to replace reference to Sec. 22a-165f with reference to Sec. 22a-162a.

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      Secs. 22a-138 to 22a-147. Reserved for future use.

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