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Group files petition over TN nuclear plant license

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- An environmental group has filed a petition to intervene in the Tennessee Valley Authority's request to renew the licenses for the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant in Soddy-Daisy.

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, which is representing 19 people from Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, said Tuesday it filed the petition with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is processing TVA's request to extend its licenses on the plant's two units for another 20 years.

The group says that TVA hasn't adequately shown that it will maintain an acceptable level of safety at the plant, where construction started in 1969 and the units have been operating since the 1980s.

NRC spokesman Roger Hannah said the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will appoint a panel to review the petition and its claims. It will still be considering TVA's application.

The TVA said in a statement that petitions like this one are a normal avenue of public response in the process.

"Sequoyah plays an important role in TVA's vision to provide safe, reliable, low-cost and cleaner energy to the Tennessee Valley, and TVA will continue to work with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on the licensing process for this valuable asset," TVA's statement said.