Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey filed a lawsuit against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on Sept. 25 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The suit seeks relief from NRC staff decisions last month to approve the transfer of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station’s license from Entergy Corp. to Holtec International, and to establish greater checks and balances over a decommissioning trust fund connected to the plant. The lawsuit comes after the NRC allegedly rebuffed Healey’s staff earlier in the year over a petition requesting an adjudicatory hearing before the NRC to address the state’s concerns with the health, safety, environmental, and financial risks raised by Holtec’s proposal.
“The NRC has repeatedly rubber-stamped Holtec’s plans, despite serious concerns about the company’s financial capacity, technical qualifications, and competency to safely decommission and clean up the Pilgrim site,” said Healey in a statement. “We are asking the court to exercise its authority to vacate the NRC’s misguided and unsupported actions.”
“The Baker-Polito administration remains strongly committed to ensuring the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is decommissioned in a manner that protects the safety of the public and environment, and is supporting and assisting the Attorney General’s lawsuit regarding the Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff’s approval of the license transfer prior to a ruling by the commission on the concerns raised by both the administration as well as the Attorney General,” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Secretary Kathleen A. Theoharides said in a statement.
“We are declining comment on the lawsuit filed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office in light of ongoing litigation,” NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan emailed.
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has concluded that Holtec met the required regulatory, legal, technical, and financial requirements to qualify as licensee,” Pilgrim spokesman Patrick O’Brien emailed. “While we respect the petitioner’s rights to file legal motions, we are not going to comment on any specific legal motions or action.”