NRC Permits Entergy to Operate Pilgrim Nuke During Winter Storms

Cape Downwinders: Entergy has discretion to keep communities at risk

From Cape Downwinders:

Harwich, MA-Cape Downwinders and 26 organizations across the state and region are demanding their right to safety by requesting Senator Markey, Senator Warren, Representative Keating, Governor Baker, and Attorney General Healey call for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission revoke the operating license for the Pilgrim nuclear reactor in Plymouth, MA. 


A letter was sent to the elected officials last Friday expressing concerns that Entergy ran Pilgrim during the March 2 severe winter storm at our risk. [see attached] With reports of expected high winds and downed power lines, Pilgrim was at risk for loss of offsite power that would challenge the degrading reactor.  Given safety protocol in place to avoid an emergency shutdown like the serious scram from 2015, Entergy continued to operate Pilgrim through the storm at their discretion. Even when the local emergency directors reported that evacuation due to inaccessible roads would be difficult, Entergy continued to operate Pilgrim without reasonable assurance for public safety.  The dangers were documented but dismissed.


On March 6, repetitive leaks in the feedwater heating system caused Pilgrim to shut down. More equipment problems were found and the nuclear reactor remains closed. 


Guntram Mueller of Boston Downwinders states, "It is irresponsible to permit the worst nuclear operator in the U.S.- Entergy-to make these serious public safety decisions which threaten the 5 million people in the 50 mile emergency planning zone-including metro Boston. Entergy runs for profit, not public safety."


Elaine Dickinson of Cape Downwinders is very concerned.  "The NRC cites Entergy's systemic mismanagement and ongoing federal safety violations. However, there are no civil fines nor consequences, just paper reports. The planned closing in 2019 does not dismiss the dangers that threaten the 5 million people within 50 miles and beyond not only during storms but every single day."


Henrietta Cosentino of Plymouth Downwinders adds, "As Albert Einstein pointed out, 'The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.'  Pilgrim is ever more toxic and ever more of a threat.  It's time for our representatives to do something different." 


Diane Turco, Director of Cape Downwinders, concludes,  "Repetitively degrading Pilgrim has past problems with leaks that have caused shutdown. This should be no surprise. That Pilgrim remains in the NRC's most dangerous category is no surprise. Tragically at this point with such irresponsible regulation, an accident will be no surprise, either. Our elected officials must step up now and enforce our right to safety." 


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