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From https://plymouth.wickedlocal.com:
Pilgrim Watch files third contention against sale of Plymouth nuke
By David Kindy
Posted Jul 20, 2019 at 1:00 PM
Updated Jul 20, 2019 at 7:11 PM
PLYMOUTH – A local nuclear watchdog group has filed a third contention against the proposed sale of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station [1] by Entergy Inc. [2] to Holtec International [3]. Pilgrim Watch [4] filed motions with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission urging the federal agency to not approve the sale until it has determined that the purchaser is “trustworthy, reliable and of good character.”

This petition to intervene and hearing request urge the NRC to do a complete background check on Holtec, which is facing numerous allegations of misconduct in previous dealings related to nuclear projects.

Earlier this month, a published report cited the corporation did not disclose it had been temporarily banned from doing business with the Tennessee Valley Authority [5]. In addition, Holtec International President and CEO Krishna Singh was questioned as part of a criminal investigation, according to Politico New Jersey [6].

“They have a history of not being honest and misrepresenting the truth,” said Mary Lampert, director of Pilgrim Watch. “It goes on and on. It’s not our job to prove the lies and cheating. NRC – do your job!”

This is the third contention, or legal claim, filed by the group, which has also filed an amendment to one of the previous motions. The attorney general of Massachusetts [7] has filed two contentions regarding the proposed sale. The claims deal with conditions of the sale and argue that assurances are needed that the nuclear decommissioning fund of $1.04 billion will be sufficient to handle the clean up at the site.

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth shut down for the final time on May 31 after 47 years of operations. Owner Entergy announced plans to clean up the site over a 60-year period. Holtec said it would perform the cleanup in eight years if the sale was approved.

According to Lampert, this latest contention argues that the NRC has not done its due diligence in checking the background of the parties involved in the sale. Holtec, in particular, needs to be scrutinized closely, she asserted.

“They have never decommissioned a nuclear power plant before, and now they have contracts to do six of them,” she said. “We need to know that they can do this and that they are not just blowing smoke. We don’t want them walking away and leaving the commonwealth of Massachusetts stuck with the bill to finish the cleanup.”

In the latest contention, Pilgrim Watch argues that the NRC cannot grant the License Transfer Application until it has determined all parties are “trustworthy and reliable and otherwise possesses the character prerequisite to allowing it to participate in or control the decommissioning of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.”

In addition, the contention states approving the LTA “will not be inimical to the common defense and security or constitute an unreasonable risk to the public health and safety.”

The NRC has not issued decisions on any of the five contentions filed so far. It is currently reviewing them and will rule on each independently.

“We do not have an exact timeline for the commission’s decision on the Pilgrim Watch request for a hearing on the Pilgrim license transfer application,” said Neil Sheehan, NRC public affairs. “The commission is continuing to review that request and one submitted by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.”

Holtec would not respond to any specific allegations in the latest contention, other than to say it was preparing to respond to the latest claim.

“The ability to submit contentions is part of the NRC licensing process,” said Joe Delmar, Holtec’s senior director of Government Affairs & Communications. “Holtec International is preparing a proper response to the submitted contention and will not publicly comment on the group, their reasons for their requests or Holtec’s response.”
[1] http://www.pilgrimpower. com/
[2] https://www.entergy. com/
[3] https://holtecinternational. com/
[4] http://pilgrimwatch.org/const/
[5] https://www.tva.gov/
[6] https://www.politico.com/states/new-jersey/story/2019/07/09/holtec-ceo-was-at-center-of-inquiry-that-led-to-disbarment-by-federal-agency-1091777
[7] https://www.mass.gov/orgs/office-of-attorney-general-maura-healey
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