The Price-Anderson Act of 1957 established limits to the liability which operators of nuclear power plants would face in the event of a nuclear accident. After the Act was renewed in 1975, Duke Power Company (defendant) began to construct two new nuclear power plants in North Carolina and South Carolina. Carolina Environmental Study Group (plaintiff), along with a labor union and 40 individuals who lived near the sites of the new power plants, filed suit in federal court against Duke Power and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to challenge the constitutionality of the Price-Anderson Act. The district court found that the plaintiffs had standing and concluded that the Act was unconstitutional. Duke Power petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.