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(CN) - The 2nd Circuit rejected two petitions challenging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's finding that spent fuel pools at nuclear power plants don't significantly harm the environment.

The Manhattan-based court upheld the commission's refusal to review a 1996 report discounting the fuel pools as having a relatively small environmental impact.

Massachusetts and California objected, claiming new information showed that fire risk was greater than previously acknowledged. The states also argued that the commission had incorrectly relied on plant-specific mitigation and security in making the low-risk determination.

The 2nd Circuit deferred to the commission's finding, saying they were backed by ample evidence.

"The (commission) relies on numerous studies detailing the effectiveness of its required mitigation measures; these studies constitute substantial evidence," the court concluded.

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