To the Editor:
Cape Downwinders, a group of citizens committed to closing the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (PNPS) in Plymouth are releasing the results of a survey disclosing candidates' views of Pilgrim's future.
Questionnaires were sent to 49 candidates seeking Federal, State and local office on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. 20 responses were received and those results are posted on the group's website.
Ahead of next week's primaries, the results show candidates are overwhelmingly in favor of the permanent closing of the Plymouth Nuclear Facility along with expanding the current emergency planning zone to include all of Cape Cod and the Islands. Most respondents also confirmed they had not accepted and would not accept any campaign contributions from Pilgrim's owner, Entergy Corporation.
Several of the candidates polled saw closing Pilgrim as an essential part of the broader changes in national energy policy, including phasing down nuclear generated power and establishing incentives for alternative power sources such as wind and solar.
Even though most candidates feel the risks for continued operation of the Pilgrim facility far to great, many still support nuclear power. There was concern regarding job loss in closing Pilgrim and for federal and state government intervention to cushion that impact.
Diane Turco, co-founder of Cape Downwinders commented by stating, "Voters on the Cape can take heart from the resounding approval expressed by candidates of both parties for closing Pilgrim Nuclear." She cautioned "closing Pilgrim will require strong leadership on Beacon Hill to pressure the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to uphold their mandate to ensure public health and safety. While candidates in this year's primaries are sensing a ground swell of concern over public health and safety issues posed from Pilgrim, it is our elected officials primary responsibility to demand the NRC close Pilgrim and remove the hundreds of tons of spent radioactive fuel from the densely packed pool and move it into dry cask storage."