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Saturday, May 18th, 2013
Attorney General appeals NRC decision on Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station
Says Feds should have considered Fukushima disaster in decision
Saying that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) acted “arbitrarily” and “abused its discretion” when it relicensed the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth for 20 years, Attorney General Martha Coakley appealed the decision Monday..
“The NRC, over our objections, chose to re-license Pilgrim without fully considering the important safety issues raised in the aftermath of the Fukushima accident,” Coakley said. “We are appealing that decision today to require the NRC to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of the plant and the residents of the surrounding communities.”
In December, A Coakley appealed to the NRC the decision by the Pilgrim Atomic Safety and Licensing Board to deny her office a hearing to consider the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster for the Pilgrim relicensing proceedings. In March, the Commission affirmed the ASLB decision and in April, Coakley appealed the decision to deny a hearing to the First Circuit Court of Appeals.
In May 2012, the NRC granted the 20- year license extension for the Pilgrim plant. The appeal filed Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, challenges the NRC's decision to grant the extension without first considering the lessons learned from the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi and their relevance for the Pilgrim plant – a plant of similar design to those that failed in Japan. The NRC also refused, before relicensing, to consider additional mitigation measures raised by the AG's expert to reduce these risks.
The second appeal asserts that the NRC's refusal to consider these important public safety and environmental issues violates federal law and the NRC's own regulations to consider new and significant information relevant to the operation of a nuclear plant.
The appeal was filed in support of the original appeal filed in April and the Attorney General is asking to consolidate both appeals on the hearing denial and the licensing decision in a single proceeding for further review.
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