PLYMOUTH, MA — Sunday, March 11, will mark the first anniversary of the disastrous tsunami and earthquake in Fukushima, Japan, which led to the explosion and meltdown of the city’s nuclear reactors. The Pilgrim Coalition, an alliance of individuals and organizations concerned about the potential of a similar accident here, will gather in a rally and memorial service in memory of those who lost their lives and property in Japan.
The Pilgrim Coalition is inviting the public to join them in an afternoon of remembrance, starting with a five-mile walk from the Lobster Pound in Manomet, Plymouth, and ending with a candlelight memorial service at the First Parish Church. The walkers will be joined by a delegation from the New England Peace Pagoda, who will be in Plymouth as part of their “Walk for a New Spring 2012,” which began at the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant March 2.
The Pilgrim Coalition is made up of organizations and residents of Plymouth and many other communities within 50 miles of the Plymouth Nuclear Power Station (PNPS), including towns on Cape Cod. The Coalition points out that the Plymouth reactor is the same Mark 1 design as the four which failed catastrophically in Fukushima. The group hopes to increase consciousness of the Plymouth reactor’s deficiencies in light of the Fukushima accident.
Entergy Corporation, the Louisiana-based owner of the 40-year-old Pilgrim station, is currently requesting a 20-year renewal of its license to operate.
Members of the Pilgrim Coalition have placed articles on upcoming local town meeting warrants asking the towns to go on record requesting that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) which grants this license, hold off its approval until safety measures are put in place.
“Although the Fukushima disaster was predicated by a major earthquake and tsunami,” said David Agnew of Cape Downwinders, “the actual meltdown of the reactors was caused by the interruption of electrical power. It’s imperative that the NRC require Entergyto fully implement all lessons learned from Fukushima before a license is granted.”
The walk will begin at the Lobster Pound, 252 Manomet Road, Plymouth, at 1:00 p.m. The group expects to pause at the Plymouth Rock Memorial on the Plymouth Waterfront at 3:00 p.m. and continue to the First Parish Church at 19 Town Square for the 4:00 p.m. service.