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Illinois Residents Trying to Stop Nuclear Power Plants Lose Appeal

October 2, 1989

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A group of Illinois residents trying to halt operations at three nuclear power plants in the state lost their Supreme Court appeal today.

The justices, without comment, let stand a ruling by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the residents’ concerns over safety are unfounded.

Six people filed a petition with the commission in 1986 seeking the suspension of the operating licenses of three northern Illinois plants - Zion, LaSalle and Byron.

The petition voiced concern over the spread of radioactive material from the plants if a nuclear accident occurred. It alleged that inadequate leak- rate testing of containments at the three plants owned by Commonwealth Edison Co. had created an unsafe condition.

The commission denied the petition after the director of its Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation determined there were no safety problems.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last Feb. 3 that it lacked the jurisdiction to second-guess the commission’s action.

The appeal acted on today contended that the appeals court erred in that conclusion.

The residents who initiated the licensing challenge are Jacob Aronov, Eckhard Festag, David Kraft, Susan Michetti, Patricia Schaffner and Abe Sklar.

The case is Citizens of Illinois vs. NRC, 88-1923.

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