Boston (August 23, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), released the following statement after the Commission approved the transfer of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station’s shutdown plant and spent fuel dry storage facility from Entergy to Holtec. Earlier this week, Senators Markey and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Representative William Keating (MA-09) wrote to the NRC to urge it to delay ruling on the proposed license transfer for Pilgrim from Entergy to Holtec until after the Commission considers and rules on extant petitions and motions.


“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is abdicating any responsibility for protecting public health and safety with its rushed and uninformed license transfer for the Pilgrim nuclear power plant,” said Senator Markey. “The opaque process that disregarded local resident and state input reflects the Commission’s choice to prioritize industry timelines over due diligence and transparency. Holtec’s math on how it will pay for decommissioning does not add up. Holtec’s unwillingness to even negotiate an agreement with local stakeholders—the ones who will be living next door to nuclear waste for years to come—is unacceptable. I have repeatedly called on Holtec to be a good neighbor and for the Commission to be a good regulator, but those calls of concern were ignored. I will not stop working to bring all parties to the table and provide rigorous oversight throughout the decommissioning process.”


In March 2019, Senator Markey led a letter with Senator Warren and Rep. Keating expressing concerns over the license transfer proposal. 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.