Regulators Renew Relicensing Promise For Seabrook Nuclear Plant

Mar 5, 2019

Credit NHPR

Nuclear regulators say they plan to approve a new license for Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant next week.

It comes after an extra public hearing on concerns they were moving too quickly to approve the license extension through 2050.

Area residents at that packed hearing expressed lots of support for the plant – as well as deep concerns about its safety.

Seabrook is the only nuclear facility in the country known to have a chemical reaction causing cracks in its concrete foundations.

Some want the license extension delayed until after a hearing, slated for this summer, on how those cracks have been evaluated. 

But regulators say that hearing is separate from the licensing process - though it could lead to changes later on. And they believe the plant is safe to continue operating.

Despite an emergency petition for delay by the activist group C-10, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says they'll approve its new license, and management plan for the cracks, next week.

"They choose to ignore the major issues C-10 has raised in our opposition to LAR—which conveniently for them, are not on the docket until at least this summer," says C-10's Chris Nord in a statement. 

Seabrook will be one of two nuclear facilities left in New England after Pilgrim Station in Massachusetts closes this year.

This story has been updated to include a statement from C-10.