Lawmakers urge Nuclear Regulatory Commission to keep important safety requirements in place


Boston (September 3, 2019) – Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren and Representative William Keating (MA-09) wrote to the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to urge that the Commission reject a request from Entergy to exempt the decommissioned Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station from emergency preparedness and planning regulations. NRC staff recently filed a paper before the Commission that expressed their approval of this move, which would exempt Pilgrim from regulations that require the maintenance of offsite emergency response capabilities or procedures for public notification, even before all of the spent nuclear fuel is moved into dry cask storage. In 2017, the NRC granted an exemption that removed requirements for Pilgrim to implement safety upgrades that would work to avoid a Fukushima-style disaster. 


“The NRC should be serving and protecting the American public,” write the lawmakers in their letter. “However, almost every step taken in the process of decommissioning the Pilgrim plant has ignored the concerns of local stakeholders and gone against the requests of residents and their representatives. We urge you to reject the emergency preparedness exemption and maintain the offsite safety protections at Pilgrim for the benefit of the public.” 


A copy of the letter can be found HERE.


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.