State lawmakers held a hearing Wednesday afternoon to examine potential risks at the three nuclear plants in and near Massachusetts.
Before the hearing, several dozen people from various environmental groups held a rally in front of the State House, expressing their concerns about nuclear power. Groups including Environment Massachusetts, Clean Water Action and Pilgrim Watch are calling on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to delay re-licensing for the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth.
Mary Lampert of Pilgrim Watch said one of the biggest worries is spent nuclear fuel being stored in containment pools at Pilgrim.
"We cannot take that risk," Lampert said. "We don't need that risk. We must push for on-site dry cast storage of this waste, until there's an off-site repository."
Critics say the plant in Plymouth is susceptible to disaster since it is the same design as the stricken Fukishima plant in Japan.
Marblehead state Rep. Lori Ehrlich, who has toured the area around the 1980s' Chernobyl disaster, said lawmakers are aware of the risks associated with nuclear power.
"It's not time to panic, but it's certainly time to reconsider nuclear power's risk and our own safety," she said, adding later, "We must do everything we can to make sure catastrophe like Chernobyl or Fukishima, Japan, never happens here."
This program aired on April 6, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.