By the Pilgrim Coalition
On October 15, a state court judge ordered Entergy Corporation of Louisiana, owner of Plymouth's Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, "to give the court 90-day notice before any nuclear materials are stored at the disputed site." In late 2014, Entergy is planning to start moving some of the 40 years worth of nuclear waste out of the Pilgrim reactor building into the outside storage facility.
The judge says he wants Entergy to give him notice before they start moving the waste. Right now, Entergy is building the nuclear waste dump without permits that local residents say the company should have. Entergy is building "at its own risk." The judge wants a chance to rule on whether Entergy has the right permits before the waste is moved into the dry cask facility.
The October 15 ruling is an important step in the efforts by local residents to get Entergy to comply with local zoning laws. The lawsuit was filed in August 2013 when the Town of Plymouth Zoning Board of Appeals failed to require Entergy to get a special permit for construction and operation of the outside dry cask storage facility it is building at Pilgrim. The lawsuit seeks to require Entergy to apply for and obtain a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals. This permit would require the town to hold a public hearing and allow local residents to have input on how the nuclear waste dump is built and operated. The town could impose conditions that would improve the facility.
The legal process is lengthy and no trial date is set. The next steps are for all the parties to file a status report on several issues by November 15, conduct discovery, and then have a meeting with the judge in mid May, 2014. Entergy attorneys told the court they plan to challenge the rights of local residents to bring the lawsuit. A team of mostly volunteer lawyers are representing the 18 local residents who are plaintiffs in the case.
PILGRIM COALITION is a non-partisan network of citizens and organizations dedicated to raising awareness of - and reducing - significant risks to public safety, health and our environment arising from the continued operation of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, located in Plymouth, Massachusetts.