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Court: Mass. Can Regulate Nuke Water Intake System

The state's highest court has ruled that Massachusetts environmental officials have the power to regulate a water intake system used by the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth.

The Supreme Judicial Court's decision issued on Tuesday reverses a lower court ruling that said the state Department of Environment lacked such authority.

Pilgrim employs a cooling system that pulls in water from Cape Cod Bay and later discharges heated water through outflow pipes. While the discharges are regulated by the state and federal governments, Entergy Corp., which owns Pilgrim, challenged whether the state also has the power to regulate the intake process.

Environmental officials say the intake system uses underwater suction that can kill or injure marine life.

The SJC decision was written by Justice Judith Cowin before her retirement last week.

This program aired on April 11, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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