Wedge Bramhall | Letter to the Editor Source →
Plymouth resident Wedge Bramhall urges the NRC and Entergy officials to attend an upcoming forum on Pilgrim nuclear plant, and the nonbinding referendum opposing the plant’s relicensing.
The Pilgrim Nuclear Station hidden from most peoples view has been operating for nearly 40 years. Every ounce of high level nuclear waste that has been produced by this plant still sits in Pilgrims spent fuel pool. This plant now holds well over 1,200 tons of high level waste. The waste is stored in what most industry experts say is the most vulnerable spent fuel pool in the business. The pool is well over three times denser than originally designed back in the sixties.
About six years ago Entergy began a process to relicense the plant for an additional 20 years beyond its designed life. So not only do we have a tired old poorly designed plant we now have a high level nuclear waste dump attached to it.
The elected officials that we look to for safety issues related to the nuclear plant have let us down. Especially after the horror show that has occurred and will continue for many years to come over there in Fukushima. You would think that Entergy executives would be on their knees begging us to continue doing business here on the South Shore. Instead we are still watching our elected officials continue to kiss up to the Entergy suits.
Pilgrim has so many safety related issues that need to be addressed that it would be hard to put them all in this one letter. Remember that the plants that caused the havoc in Japan are the same plant design we have here in town. The Mark 1 Plant is one of the oldest and most poorly designed of the entire nuclear fleet. As the plant was being built in 1972 the engineers that designed it said they should build no more of them and that they had serious concerns of what would happen if pressure built up in the containment vessel. Well we just saw what can happen as it did in Japan. We don’t need a tsunami to set off that chain of events. Any prolonged loss of power would do the same thing. The Pilgrim Plant relies on over a million dollars’ worth of outside power a year to operate.
In a couple months we have a question that will come before the voters of Plymouth. The question simply asks if we want the NRC to implement the safety “fixes” that it has already learned from the Fukushima incident that can and should be applied to our plant before a 20-year license is issued. It does not call for the shutdown of the plant it just asks that it be made safer if that is possible and if Entergy can’t afford the fixes than shut the plant down. There would be years of decommissioning and a new state of the art plant could be built down where Pilgrim 2 was supposed to go keeping plenty of good clean jobs in town.
At the last Plymouth Nuclear Matters Committee meeting the Entergy person at the meeting was asked by Selectman Matt Muratore if Entergy planned on participating in our upcoming nuclear forum on March 29. He was told instantly that they want no part in it. This is a cowardly move on Entergy’s part but then again they know who really wears the pants in this town as has been so blatantly shown over the last 40 years. We asked for an NRC commission member to come and debate but they also refused saying they would instead send one of their P.R. people 2 hours before the forum to answer questions but did not want to be grilled by our opposing speaker.
So here we are with just a few days or weeks before the NRC hands Entergy a new 20-year license that will take this old tired waste filled plant well into Plymouths future. We still don’t have a workable evacuation plan, we have 8th grade level monitoring of the radiation and weather around the plant, we get nothing for the risk of hosting 1,200 tons of the worst nuclear crap on the face of the earth and we get beans for taxes. Here is a company that bought this old nuke at a yard sale for cheap money and they still refuse to deal with the overcrowded spent fuel pool. For the money they pay their CEO for one year they could make a lot of us here on the South Shore feel a little more comfortable by bringing that pool back to the designed capacity.
Please pay attention over these next few weeks and months to what is being said. By Entergy refusing to participate in our upcoming forum they have said enough and there will be an empty chair where they would have sat up on the stage. They are arrogant and they are cowards hiding away while their license gets processed as if nothing ever happened over in Japan.
I just recently watched Japanese nuclear public relations pretty faced lady saying that she used to promote nuclear power in her town and she couldn’t be more ashamed at what she did. Meanwhile she and as many as 80,000 other residents cannot go home anymore.
Plymouth has so much going for it. Pilgrim and its executives are lucky they can hide from the upcoming debate. They have the lapdog NRC and our local lapdog Nuclear Matter Committee to thank for that. Maybe if the plant wasn’t so hidden from view it would be on the minds of more people.