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Coakley Appeals Pilgrim Plant Re-Licensing

This article is more than 10 years old.

Attorney General Martha Coakley has appealed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's recent decision to renew the operating license of Plymouth's Pilgrim nuclear plant for 20 more years.

"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 Monday in a statement. "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."

The appeal, Coakley's office said, "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."

She filed the appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

It's not the first time Coakley has raised such concerns. In early May, Coakley asked the NRC to delay its decision on Pilgrim's re-licensing, citing the plant's similar design to Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant, which was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami. And she had previously expressed concern over the plant's storage of spent fuel.

On May 25, the NRC voted 3-1 in favor of allowing Pilgrim to operate through 2032. The NRC said the approval followed the longest safety review on record.

The 40-year-old plant's previous license expired June 8.

This program aired on June 18, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.


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