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Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp. v. NRDC

United States Supreme Court
435 U.S. 519 (1978)


Facts

The Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (NRDC) (plaintiff), a non-profit environmental interest group, and others filed a petition in federal court seeking review of an Atomic Energy Commission (Commission) (defendant) decision to grant a license to the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation (Vermont Yankee) (defendant) to operate a nuclear power plant in Vermont and a decision to grant a license to Consumers Power Corporation (Consumers) (defendant) to construct two pressurized water nuclear reactors to generate electricity and steam. Plaintiffs claimed the Commission’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), was insufficient because it failed to address energy conservation alternatives to the construction of the plant and reactors, proposed by several plaintiffs. The court of appeals agreed and held for plaintiffs. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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