PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — The license for the now-shuttered Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth has been transferred to a private company for decommissioning.

The action Thursday by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission paves the way for the completion of the sale of the plant from Entergy Corporation to a subsidiary of Holtec International.

Entergy Chief Executive Officer Leo Denault says the community will benefit from a facility that is "decommissioned safely."

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey and U.S. Rep. William Keating — all Democrats — had urged the NRC to delay ruling on the license transfer.

Markey said the agency is "abdicating any responsibility for protecting public health and safety" by rushing the license transfer.

The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station began generating electricity in 1972 and was permanently closed in May.

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