Senator Markey Blasts NRC Plans to Proceed with Pilgrim Decommissioning License Transfer as Lacking Public Support
Boston (August 13, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that it plans to issue a decision next week based on staff recommendation to approve the license transfer from Entergy to Holtec of the permanently shut down Pilgrim nuclear power plant and spent fuel dry storage facility. The staff of the NRC have issued a condition in today’s review that would require Holtec and Entergy to reverse the license back to the conditions that existed before the transfer, if the transfer is denied by the Commission as a result of either of the two pending hearing requests. On August 8, Senator Markey sent a letter to the NRC expressing his serious concerns with news that the Commission could rule on the Entergy and Holtec license transfer without a ruling on the motions and petition submitted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and local residents.
“Too many questions remain and too few answers have been provided to the Commonwealth and to local residents about the decommissioning of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant,” said Senator Markey. “From financing to emergency response planning, we have asked for answers and we have received only unacceptable silence. More hearings and opportunities for public input are needed to resolve critical outstanding questions – until that happens, this license transfer should not be approved. The NRC should not put nuclear industry timelines above the statutory requirement for a process that includes the opportunity for public input and involvement.”
In October 2018, Senator Markey and Rep. William Keating (MA-09) demanded clear details from Holtec and Entergy about the safety and security issues involved in the ownership, transfer, and eventual decommissioning of the power plant.