In Wake of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station Closure Announcement, Massachusetts Delegation Calls for Commitment to Safety, Financial Oversight, Worker Assistance
Washington (October 15, 2015) – In the wake of Entergy’s announcement that it will close Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts by 2019, Senator Edward J. Markey and the entire Massachusetts delegation today called on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to commit to needed measures to ensure the nuclear reactor is properly decommissioned. Last month, the NRC listed Pilgrim in “Column 4” of its reactor safety ratings, its least safe rating for an operating reactor.
“We write to request that the Commission ensure that the remaining period during which the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, MA operates receives the utmost attention to safety and security, and that the reactor’s operations are adequately funded by Entergy,” write the lawmakers in a letter sent today to NRC Chairman Stephen Burns. “We additionally ask for your assistance with ensuring that the reactor’s subsequent decommissioning occurs quickly, with all needed measures to protect public health and safety, and assistance for the workers whose jobs will be lost when the reactor shuts down.”
Specifically, in the letter the Massachusetts lawmakers call on the NRC to ensure that Entergy has sufficient financial resources to safely operate the facility, that assistance is available to workers who jobs will be lost when the reactor shuts down, and that local and state officials be integrally involved in the decommissioning process. Additionally, the lawmakers call on the Commission to reject any license application amendment from Entergy that seeks to reduce or eliminate applicable emergency response or security requirements at the reactor until after the spent nuclear fuel is removed from the spent fuel pools and placed into safer dry cask storage following the reactor’s permanent shut-down. The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station was originally licensed to hold about 880 spent fuel assemblies in its spent fuel pool but now holds close to 4,000.
A copy of the delegation letter to the NRC can be found HERE.