Massachusetts Attorney General to Request Hearing in Pilgrim License Transfer


PLYMOUTH – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been notified by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office that it plans to intervene on the license transfer application for the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant.

A sale of the Plymouth plant is pending between owner Entergy and Holtec for the facilities decommissioning.

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said the agency has completed an initial review of the license transfer application and is waiting for the government shutdown to end to publish a notice in the federal register.

The agency was hoping to have the notice published on January 7 or 8.

Once the notice is published, a 30-day public comment period and a 20-day hearing request period would open.

“At that point the state Attorney General’s office or anyone else who would like to request a hearing on the application would be able to do so,” Sheehan said.

A representative from the AG’s office notified the NRC about the intent to intervene during the agency’s public meeting earlier this month in Plymouth which provided a decommissioning roadmap for the plant to the public after its shutdown on May 31.

Because the license transfer and sale are pending, both Entergy and Holtec were required to provide a Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report to the NRC.

Entergy’s plan would put the plant into SAFSTOR, or long-term storage, with a 60 year decommissioning.

If the sale is approved, Holtec’s expedited plan, or the DECON alternative, would have decommissioning completed by 2027.

“We believe what [the Attoney General’s Office] would want to do is raise concerns or contentions,” Sheehan said.

For the NRC to grant a hearing for the license transfer, the requesting party must have standing, which Sheehan said the state has, and also at least one admissible contention.

“It has to have some specificity. It can’t just be, ‘we are opposed to the sale of the Plant from Entergy to Holtec,’” Sheehan said.

“It has to provide some specificity as far as what those concerns involve.”

Sheehan said the partial federal government shut down will not impact the plant’s planned May 31 closure or short-term decommissioning actions.

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