NH Groups Oppose Seabrook Nuclear Plant License Renewal

Tuesday, 15 May 2012 12:53 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Environmental groups are appealing a 20-year operating extension request for the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant in New Hampshire, arguing that other energy generating sources should be explored first.
 
According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Seacoast Anti-Pollution League, Beyond Nuclear, and the state chapter of the Sierra Club, have joined in a federal appeal aimed at getting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to deny a request to extend the plant’s operating license from 2030, when it expires, to 2050.
 
According to the Union Leader, the groups are upset over the NRC’s refusal to hold a public hearing during the license renewal process to review other alternatives sources of power generation, including a plan to build a large wind farm in the Gulf of Maine. 
 
“On behalf of Seacoast residents, we have the right to have a full hearing on this absurdly premature and ill-advised re-licensing proposal, so we are compelled to take NRC to federal court and hopefully make them bow to common sense,” Doug Bogen, executive director of Seacoast Anti-Pollution League, said in a statement.
 
The Union Leader reported Monday the process has been temporarily put on hold due to the degradation of concrete in a plant tunnel.
 
But Bogen, referring to the Japanese nuclear disaster last year, said the NRC is still ignoring “the post-Fukushima realities of global and local efforts to pursue cleaner and safer electric power options” by denying a review.
 
Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the NRC, told the Union Leader the agency has not yet seen the groups’ complaint, which was filed with the federal appeals court in Boston. But he said, “Obviously we will respond to it in full once we have a chance to review it.”

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