By Diane Turco, CapeDownwinders spokesperson
Once again, more problems at Pilgrim Nuclear on Cape Cod Bay. Just this week, safety related annunciators, the light indicators on the panel in the control room that indicate problems with the reactor, went out for almost 2 hours and no one knows why but Entergy Corporation continued to sell electricity to the grid during that time. Safety first?
The spent fuel pool onsite in Plymouth was originally designed for 880 assemblies, however, due to the lack of a national repository, the nuclear industry requested the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to increase the allowable amount of highly radioactive waste held in the attic of the reactor. Pilgrim Nuclear now holds over 2,200 assemblies in a pool that is dangerously densely packed.
Today it was reported that Cape Cod Bay water is too warm to cool the reactor. Lack of ability for cooling preceded the Fukushima meltdowns. Will Entergy ask the NRC to change the temperature regulations like the spent fuel pool increase to meet the need for capital?
Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear is not a sacred cow but a cash cow, a profit making corporation, not a public service. The ISO, operators of the New England electrical grid, testified at the State House last year there was enough electricity from other energy sources without Pilgrim’s input. The lights will not go out if Pilgrim closes.
The safety concerns from the operation of Pilgrim Nuclear remain an ongoing threat to public health and safety; a densely packed waste pool, the failed containment design, unsolved problems with emergency signals, emergency plans that ignore hundreds of thousands of people, and now, if the reactor needed cooling, the temperature in Cape Cod Bay is too high to be effective.
Pilgrim may only close due to Entergy’s economic issues or now perhaps from the effects of global warming as the seas warm and the water rises. Or an accident.
Enough is Enough! Entergy Corporation must close the reactor for the sake of public health and safety. How many times do we need to hear the same story of problems at Pilgrim Nuclear before we experience a catastrophic ending?
The mission of Cape Downwinders is to take action to protect the lives and welfare of the residents of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket against the threat of death or injury resulting from the use of nuclear energy at Pilgrim and other locations.