The New York Times reports that a panel of three administrative law judges at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board has rejected a bid by the State of Massachusetts to challenge the Pilgrim nuclear power plant's license extension by requiring "lessons learned" from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe to be applied. Both Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 to 4 and Pilgrim share the same reactor design, the General Electric Mark 1 Boiling Water Reactor. Beyond Nuclear's "Freeze Our Fukushimas" emergency enforcement petition to NRC calls for the immediate shut down of Pilgrim and 22 additional Mark 1s operating across the U.S. NRC has rubberstamped 71 reactor license extensions in the past 12 years. Mary Lampert at Pilgrim Watch has led the grassroots effort challenging the 20 year license extension at Pilgrim, keeping the proceeding alive for 6 years, a record.
Beyond Nuclear's "Freeze Our Fukushimas" emergency enforcement petition, joined by over 8,000 groups and individuals, also pointed out that Mark 1 pools are vulnerable to gradual boil downs or sudden drain downs which could result in catastrophic high-level radioactive waste fires, which very well may have occurred at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4, prompting NRC to order Americans to flee at least 50 miles away in the earliest days of the catastrophe. Pilgrim's pool contains all the high-level radioactive waste ever generated there over the past several decades, more than Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 to 4's pools combined.