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State must fight back against NRC’s OK on Pilgrim plant

DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF/FILE 2011

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it would renew the license of the Pilgrim nuclear plant in Plymouth.

So, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s star chamber has condemned New England, especially Plymouth and Cape Cod, to 20 years of an accident waiting to happen (“Pilgrim plant gets another 20 years,” Page A1, May 26). The agency has overruled the governor, the state attorney general, state senators, and federal legislators as well as the citizens whom the NRC represents. If there ever was a time for Massachusetts’ governor to do some overruling himself, this would be it.

Deval Patrick should issue a countermanding order, shutting down the plant until resolution of all environmental contentions as well as Attorney General Martha Coakley’s appeal, which is still in the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

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When the thousands of plutonium-laden fuel rods are dry casked, when the leaky pipes and vents are repaired, when all the safety issues that concern plant workers are resolved, when the 40-year-old reactor functions like a 21st-century machine instead of an ark, and when we confirm that plankton is unaffected, that water is not irradiated in the ocean and the ground, that plumes venting to the wind are not carrying radioactive isotopes responsible for high rates of cancer, particularly in children — then relicense.

Until then the power of proof should be on the plant.

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Let’s tie up the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in court for years. Let’s assert our state’s right to a jurisdiction over its own safety.

LEE STEPHANIE ROSCOE

Brewster

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