A series of events prompted by citizen’s concerns about the safety of Plymouth’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (PNPS) will kick off Thursday with a panel discussion of those concerns at Plymouth Town Hall, 11 Lincoln St., Plymouth, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday’s forum on the potential risks posed by the Plymouth reactor will feature nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen, a critic of Pilgrim’s Mark-I design and nuclear engineer Howard Schaffer, a nuclear industry consultant, and is open to the public.
Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is 40 years old, and its owner Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. has applied to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a license to operate another 20 years. The NRC is expected to rule on this matter by June 8.
Concerns among residents in the vicinity of Pilgrim have increased since the explosion of the nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan. The Plymouth reactor is the same Mark 1 model as the reactors that melted down and /or blew up, forcing people in the region out of their homes and making property uninhabitable.
The disaster in Japan has sparked worldwide debate about nuclear power. In the US much of this concern has focused on the safety of the Mark 1 Boiling Water reactor. Twenty three nuclear reactors in the US are the same design as those reactors destroyed in Fukushima, Japan.
Locally, Pilgrim Coalition — a group of citizens and organizations who share concerns about relicensing without new safety requirements — has been working to raise awareness of potential dangers. The group has supported forums and informational programs region-wide and articles on area town meeting warrants asking that Pilgrim’s license not be renewed until “full implementation of all safety improvements recommended by the NRC as a result of lessons learned from the failures of similarly designed reactors in Fukushima” are met.
List of Scheduled Events:
March 29, 7:00 pm — Public Forum on the potential risks posed by the nuclear reactor in Plymouth. Plymouth Town Hall, 11 Lincoln Street
April 4, 7:00 pm — Doctor Helen Caldicott will speak on “Fukushima Enough is Enough” Tilden Arts Center, Cape Cod Community College, 2240 Ivannough Road, Barnstable.
April 25, 7:00—9:00 pm (Location TBA) — Panel on Potential Hazards of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station featuring David Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists with others (TBA) in Plymouth.
Starting dates of Town Meetings with articles on this matter scheduled as follows:
Monday, April 9, Kingston
Monday, April 9, Scituate
Monday, April 23, Marshfield
Monday, May 7, Mashpee
Monday, May 7, Eastham
Monday, May 7, Brewster
Tuesday, May 8, Dennis
Saturday, May 12, Ballot question in Plymouth
Tuesday, May 15, Ballot question in Harwich