The Association to Preserve Cape Cod on Tuesday sent a letter to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey calling for her assistance in opposing Entergy’s request to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to exempt the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station from certain emergency planning requirements when the plant shuts down in 2019.
Included in Entergy’s request is an exemption from continuance of the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone around Pilgrim. In the letter to Healey, APCC acknowledged that Cape Cod is located outside the plant’s 10-mile zone, but expressed concern that the requested relaxation of public safety requirements could potentially set a dangerous precedent for further erosion of safety standards once the plant closes.
An accident resulting from a relaxation of required standards could pose a threat to the Cape’s environment and public health.
A copy of APCC’s letter was also sent to Senators Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Rep. William Keating and members of the Cape Cod state legislative delegation.
Established in 1968, APCC is the Cape Cod’s region-wide nonprofit environmental advocacy and education organization.
The following is a text of APCC’s letter to the attorney general.
July 24, 2018
Attorney General Maura Healey
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
RE: Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station Emergency Planning Zone Exemption Request
Dear Attorney General Healey:
The Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC), Cape Cod’s leading region-wide nonprofit environmental advocacy and education organization, respectfully encourages you to take a strong position against Entergy’s request to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to be exempt from certain emergency planning requirements when the plant is shut down next year, including exemption from the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone around the plant.
APCC believes it is imperative that the Commonwealth oppose any attempts by Entergy to shirk its responsibility for ensuring public safety, regardless of whether it is while the plant is in operation or during the decommissioning process. Although Cape Cod is outside of the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone, we are concerned that should Entergy be granted an exemption on the Emergency Planning Zone issue, it would establish a precedent that could lead to further compromises that will jeopardize assurances of a safe decommissioning process, plant cleanup, and the appropriate transfer and storage of the spent fuel rods. Given Pilgrim’s dismal performance history to date, we believe our concerns are not unfounded.
While the decision to grant the requested exemption rests with the NRC, a strong response by the Attorney General’s Office opposing the exemption could influence that decision and assist in establishing an appropriate public safety standard for the Pilgrim decommissioning process.
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this request.
cc: U.S. Senator Edward Markey State Rep. Sarah Peake
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren State Rep. Timothy Whelan
U.S. Rep. William Keating State Rep. William Crocker
State Senator Julian Cyr State Rep. David Vieira
State Senator Viriato deMacedo State Rep. Dylan Fernandes
State Rep. Randy Hunt