Nuclear Regulatory Commission delivers another blow to Pilgrim Watch=

<p dir=3D”ltr”>The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has rejected Pilgrim=

Watch=E2=80=99s latest bid to derail the relicensing of Pilgrim Nuclear Po=

wer Station.</p>

<p dir=3D”ltr”>The Duxbury-based nuclear watchdog group &#0160;re=

cently argued that the disaster at the Fukashima Nuclear Power plant in Jap=

an raised new concerns that should be addressed before Pilgrim gets its lic=

ense. The Japanese plant and Pilgrim used the same model reactor.</p>

<p dir=3D”ltr”>While <a href=3D”http://www.pilgrimwatch.org/” targ=

et=3D”_blank”>Pilgrim Watch</a> has argued that what happened in J=

apan should be taken into account in deciding the future of Pilgrim Station=

, the NRC states in its ruling that licensing decisions should be separate =

from whatever conclusions it reaches about Fukashima. Plant licenses can be=

modified if it needed, according to the ruling.</p>

<p dir=3D”ltr”>In an e-mail about the decision, Pilgrim Watch leader =

Mary Lampert noted Germany was one of several countries to shut down operat=

ions at nuclear power plants until they were certain about what happened in=

Japan. Lampert contrasts that with the NRC which, she writes, =E2=80=9Csho=

ws that NRC Commissioners have decided to go forward with licensing until t=

hey are certain that it is not alright to do so,=E2=80=9D and further calli=

ng the commission biased in favor of the nuclear industry.</p>

<p dir=3D”ltr”>As the NRC=E2=80=99s decision noted, the Atomic Safety=

and Licensing Board decded Pilgrim Watch did not meet the standards for re=

opening the case, finding that Pilgrim Watch=E2=80=99s appeal wasn=E2=80=99=

t timely or appropriate.</p>

<p dir=3D”ltr”>The ASLB ruled Pilgrim Watch failed to meet the standa=

rds required for opening a closed matter, since they weren=E2=80=99t timely=

and didn=E2=80=99t meet other requirements. For example, the ASLB noted, =

=E2=80=9Cdefinitive information on what occurred at Fukushima is not yet av=

ailable,=E2=80=9D calling Pilgrim Watch=E2=80=99s conclusions about what ha=

ppened there =E2=80=9Cgeneralized.=E2=80=9D According to the licensing boar=

d, much of what Pilgrim Watch was arguing now could have been brought up mu=

ch earlier in the relicensing process.</p>

<p dir=3D”ltr”>In another part of the ruling, the NRC ruling made a s=

imilar argument against Pilgrim Watch, noting its argument about Pilgrim St=

ation=E2=80=99s torus vent had been studied when Entergy, the power plant=

=E2=80=99s owner, had originally filed its application and concerned issues=

that had been known for years. The <a href=3D”http://www.gereports.com/=

the-mark-i-containment-system-in-bwr-reactors/” target=3D”_blank”>torus&=

lt;/a> is designed to contain hear when large amounts of steam are relea=

sed from the plant.</p>

<p>The ASLB ruling, the NRC decision wrote, called much of what Pilgr=

im Watch was arguing regarding Fukashima, and its relevance to Pilgrim was =

=E2=80=9Cbased on layers of speculation=E2=80=9D and that the group offered=

no evidence linking the two plants other than their shared design. Pilgrim=

Watch, the decision states =E2=80=9Cprovides nothing to back up its genera=

lized claims that the…analysis underestimates the consequences of a sever=

e accident=E2=80=9D and calls the groups other claims =E2=80=9Cunsupported =

assertions=E2=80=9D about the relevance of the Fukushima disaster.</p&gt=

;

<p>In the view of the ASLB, the fact that Fukushima is an-going situa=

tion makes it difficult to figure out the ultimate consequences, and the NR=

C ruling states =E2=80=9CPilgrim Watch makes no attempt to indicate how the=

consequences would be greater than currently assumed, or what changes woul=

d occur.=E2=80=9D<br />PIlgrim Watch still has three other arguments =

under review by nuclear regulators.</p>

<p>Carol Wightman, spokesman for Pilgrim Station, was quoted in the e=

nergy blog <a href=3D”http://enformable.com/2012/02/jaczko-again-sole-di=

ssenter-on-nrc-commission-after-fukushima-siding-with-pilgrim-nuclear-criti=

cs-and-supports-public-hearings/” target=3D”_blank”>Enformable</a>=

that the company was pleased with the NRC&#39;s decision.</p>

<p>NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko dissented from the ruling, arguing the=

standard used in reopening the case shouldn=E2=80=99t be used in a matter =

related to the Fukashima disaster. He went on to argue that what happened o=

verseas was important enough to allow further hearings as new information w=

as learned. Closing the matter unfairly limits public participation, he wro=

te.</p>

<p><strong>Read the NRC&#39;s decision</strong></p=

>

<p><strong><span class=3D”asset asset-generic at-xid-6a0147=

e2e64b07970b016301e6b38c970d”><a href=3D”http://manometcurrent.typepa=

d.com/files/02.22.12-order-deny.pdf”>Download 02.22.12 ORDER DENY</a&=

gt;</span></strong></p>

<p>&#0160;</p>

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