Plymouth: Nuclear panel denies request for hearing on safety orders

A three-judge panel has denied a local nuclear activist group’s request for a hearing on new federal safety orders–ones which the group says doesn’t go far enough to protect communities that house nuclear power plants.

The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board met in Boston in March to hear from attorneys for Pilgrim Watch, which opposes the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth. The group asked for a broader evidentiary hearing on its claims that federal regulators haven’t done enough to fix nuclear power plant flaws exposed by last year’s accident in Japan. The group argued a nuclear safety board should hear their case.

On Tuesday, The ASLB rejected the request, saying that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission only holds enforcement hearings on whether or not an order should be sustained–not on whether it should be changed or strengthened.

Pilgrim Watch can appeal the decision to the five-member Commission that oversees the NRC.

Back in May, The Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted to renew the 40-year-old plant’s operating license for another 20 years.

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