BU Metropolitan Edison Company v People against Nuclear Energy MemoSchool
Metropolitan Edison Company owned and operated two nuclear-fueled power plants at Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Both power plants were licensed by the NRC after extensive proceedings and investigations, including the preparation of the required environmental impact statements. When one of the power plants was shut down for refueling, the other plant suffered a serious accident that damaged the reactor. The governor of Pennsylvania recommended an evacuation of all pregnant women and small children, and many area residents did not leave their homes for several days. As it turned out, no dangerous radiation was released.
People Against Nuclear Energy (PANE), an association of area residents who opposed further operation of the nuclear power plants at Three Mile Island, sued to enjoin the plants from reopening. They argued that the reopening of the plants would cause severe psychological health damage to persons living in the vicinity and serious damage to the stability and cohesiveness of the community. Are these reasons sufficient to prevent the reopening of the nuclear power plants? Is it socially responsible for the federal government to permit the operation of nuclear power plants? Metropolitan Edison Company v. People Against Nuclear Energy, 460 U.S. 766, 103 S.Ct. 1556, 1983 U.S. Lexis 21 (Supreme Court of the United States)
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