It is now time to look at the next step for Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley after a federal Appeals Court turned down the state’s appeal of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station’s license renewal process.
Coakley argued the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) decision last year to extend the Plymouth facility’s license for 20 years didn’t sufficiently consider the implications of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant accident in Japan after a major earthquake and tsunami.
The 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday NRC had studied and addressed the issues raised by the Fukushima accident in its rules for U.S. nuclear plants, including those which, like Pilgrim, have a similar design.
The court added the NRC said plants must comply with future standards from the study of Fukushima, and it’s not necessary to delay relicensing those meeting current standards.
“Nuclear energy, when done right, can be a valuable part of our energy future,” Coakley said. “Our goal throughout this process has been to minimize the public safety and environmental risks for the communities surrounding the Pilgrim plant. We are reviewing this decision and considering our options.”