Feds allow further study of nuke fuel rods storage

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is agreeing to extend the relicensing period for two nuclear power plants in part to allow time to study the storage of spent fuel rods.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley had asked the NRC for greater consideration of the environmental impact of a possible attack on spent fuel rods at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth and the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in Vernon.

The agency denied her petition in August, saying heavy security made the risk of attack low, but Coakley appealed. That appeal is currently before a federal court.

On Monday, the NRC put the relicensing process on hold.

Licenses for both plants expire in 2012 and both are seeking extensions.

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