Markey, Keating Dissatisfied With NRC ‘Assurances’ Regarding Emergency Response Capability at Pilgrim Nuclear Plant During Recent Labor Dispute

Lawmakers reiterate request for proof that replacement workers were adequately trained

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Massachusetts Congressmen Edward J. Markey (D-Malden), dean of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, and William Keating (D-Bourne) sent a follow-up letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) expressing their dissatisfaction with the responsiveness of the agency to their request for more information about the emergency response capability at the Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station during the recent labor dispute that saw nearly 250 union workers escorted offsite following the expiration of their contract. To fill staffing gaps during the lock-out, Entergy had individuals from Pilgrim’s management team, as well as other managers from its nuclear fleet, filling the necessary positions. Reps. Markey and Keating sent a letter to the NRC on June 8, expressing concerns about the situation and requesting experiential information for each replacement worker to assess their aptitude for both day-to-day and emergency operations. The NRC’s response to Reps. Markey and Keating, however, lacked key information such as the number of hours replacement workers spent operating a nuclear power plant, if any testing of workers was completed, or whether requirements for staff training in emergency situations were met.

“We note that considerable materials requested were ultimately not provided – and because these materials were not provided, we are unable to determine whether the NRC’s conclusion that ‘the operational and emergency response duties at Pilgrim were being conducted by adequately trained personnel’ during the time of the strike was an accurate statement,” write Reps. Markey and Keating in the letter.

The letter to the NRC can be found HERE.

The NRC response to Reps. Markey and Keating’s letter can be found HERE.

The NRC recently relicensed the Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station for another 20 years despite unresolved environmental and nuclear safety issues and outstanding judicial and administrative reviews. Reps. Markey and Keating wrote to the NRC opposing moving forward with the relicensing decision until resolution of these issues.

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