Senator Markey Statement at Public Meeting on Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant Licensing Process


Washington (February 13, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement at tonight’s public meeting in Hampton, New Hampshire on the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant. Last month, Senator Markey, along with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representative Seth Moulton (MA-09), urged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to reevaluate and abandon its plan to approve the license amendment and license renewal for the Seabrook Nuclear Plant without waiting for a planned hearing on the license amendment. The lawmakers also expressed their concerns with how the Seabrook plant operator plans to monitor, assess, and address structural degradation at the plant caused by the alkali-silica reaction (ASR).


“This public meeting on the Seabrook Nuclear Plant provides an invaluable and necessary chance for local stakeholders to weigh in on issues related to the safety of the plant,” said Senator Markey. “Yet another opportunity also will occur soon when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board holds an evidentiary hearing on concerns over whether NextEra is using adequate testing to determine their monitoring, acceptance criteria, and inspection intervals at Seabrook. These questions are important, because both Seabrook’s license renewal and amendment should be evaluated using the highest scientific standards and with vital input from local communities. Only after a fully transparent process will communities be able to trust that they will not be exposed to danger from a fracturing, unsafe facility over the next few decades.


“I am still concerned about the possibility that the NRC will approve Seabrook’s license amendment before the hearing takes place this summer,” continued Senator Markey. “This would present a subversion of the public input process and would be unnecessarily premature. This license will not expire for another 11 years. The hearing is set for this summer. All the parties involved can afford to wait and hear out the concerns raised by local residents. I strongly urge the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board to hold the evidentiary hearing before moving forward on license amendment.”


Senator Markey has previously called on the NRC not to extend the license for Seabrook due to unaddressed safety concerns