Responding to a federal court order, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Feb. 26 ordered its staff to prepare a new assessment of the potential environmental effects of a terrorist attack on Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant's dry cask storage project.
The staff has 90 days to complete the study, which will explore the likelihood of such an attack and possible consequences.
The order comes as a result of a lawsuit filed by watchdog group San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace. In the lawsuit, the group said the NRC hadn't taken an attack into account when it licensed power company PG&E to construct the casks, which will hold Diablo Canyon's spent fuel rods.
The plant's current in-plant storage facilities are nearing capacity.
"We will be watching to be sure the resulting study is done thoroughly and in accordance with federal law and the Ninth Circuit Court ruling," Mothers for Peace spokeswoman Jane Swanson said in a statement.