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Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 462 U.S. 87 (1983) is a United States Supreme Court decision which held that a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) rule that, during the licensing of nuclear power plants, the permanent storage of nuclear waste should be assumed to have no environmental impact was valid. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) at 42 U.S.C. § 4332(c) requires government agencies to consider the environmental impact of any major federal action. For the licensing of nuclear power plants by the NRC, the environmental impact includes activities necessary to produce new nuclear fuel and to dispose of spent nuclear fuel. In 1974 the NRC adopted a rule for determining the environmental impact of the fuel cycle in plant licensing proceedings. For the long-term storage of transuranic and high level radiological wastes, the rule in Table S-3 assumed that there would be no environmental impact due to a "zero release" assumption. This assumption was based upon an expectation that technology would be developed to isolate these wastes from the environment. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed an action to challenge the Table S-3 rule, leading to the Supreme Court case Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 435 U.S. 519 (1978). In that case the Supreme Court reversed the ruling by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that the NRC rulemaking procedures used to develop the rule were inadequate, stating that the NRC had done everything that was required by NEPA and the Administrative Procedures Act, and that courts lack the authority to impose rulemaking procedures greater than those contemplated by these statutes. The case was remanded for the circuit court to determine whether the Table S-3 rule was adequately supported by the administrative record.

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