(a) No land may be used as a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility until fee simple title to the land has been conveyed to the State of North Carolina. In consideration for such conveyance, the State shall enter into a lease agreement with the grantor for a term equal to the estimated life of the facility in which the State will be the lessor and the grantor the lessee. Such lease agreement shall specify that for an annual rent of fifty dollars ($50.00), the lessee shall be allowed to use the land for the development and operation of a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility. Such lease agreement shall provide that the lessor or any person authorized by the lessor shall have at all times the right to enter without a search warrant or permission of the lessee upon any and all parts of the premises for monitoring, inspection and all other purposes necessary to carry out the provisions of Chapter 104E. The lessee shall remain fully liable for all damages, losses, personal injury or property damage which may result or arise out of the lessee's operation of the facility, and for compliance with regulatory requirements concerning insurance, bonding for closure and post-closure costs, monitoring and other financial or health and safety requirements as required by applicable law and regulations. The State, as lessor, shall be immune from liability except as otherwise provided by statute. The lease shall be transferrable with the written consent of the lessor, which consent will not be unreasonably withheld. In the case of such a transfer of the lease, the transferee shall be subject to all terms and conditions that the State deems necessary to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. If the lessee or any successor in interest fails in any material respect to comply with any applicable law, regulation, or license condition, or with any term or condition of the lease, the State may terminate the lease after giving the lessee written notice specifically describing the failure to comply and upon providing the lessee a reasonable time to comply. If the lessee does not effect compliance within the reasonable time allowed, the State may reenter and take possession of the premises.
(b) Notwithstanding the termination of the lease by either the lessee or the lessor for any reason, the lessee shall remain liable for, and be obligated to perform all acts necessary or required by law, regulation, license conditions or the lease for the permanent closure of the site until the site has either been permanently closed or until a substitute operator has been secured and assumed the obligations of the lessee.
(c) In the event of changes in laws or regulations applicable to the facility which make continued operation by the lessee impossible or economically infeasible, the lessee shall have the right to terminate the lease upon giving the State reasonable notice of not less than six months, in which case the lessor shall have the right to secure a substitute lessee and operator.
(d) In the event of termination of the lease by the lessor as provided in subsection (a) of this section, or by the lessee as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the lessee shall be paid the fair market value of any improvements made to the leased premises less the costs to the lessor resulting from termination of the lease and securing a substituted lessee and operator; provided, that the lessor shall have no obligation to secure a substitute lessee or operator and may require the lessee to permanently close the facility. (1981, c. 704, s. 9; 1987, c. 633, s. 5; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1004, s. 5; 2007-495, s. 9.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014