Groups Respond to Republican Congressmen’s Demand that NRC Relicense Pilgrim, and Call on EPA to Explain Impacts of Pilgrim’s Cooling Water Malfunction on Cape Cod Bay
“In the week where Pilgrim was shut down due to a cooling water system malfunction and the community gathered on Sunday to raise awareness over safety, Congressman Upton and his colleagues saw fit to do Entergy-Louisiana’s bidding to try to get the NRC to trample the rights of local residents. These Congressmen from Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, and Texas are out of touch with what’s happening here in Plymouth.”Pine duBois, Jones River Watershed Association
Pilgrim Coalition learned in media reports this evening that Entergy Corp. won U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval to renew the operating license of its Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth. We are still learning the details, but earlier today, we sent a letter to the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce opposing the Committee’s May 21 letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission seeking speedy relicensing of Entergy-Louisiana’s Pilgrim nuclear power station over significant objections by the public. The Committee, chaired by Fred Upton, Republican of Michigan, claims the NRC’s relicensing process is “unfair” to the Louisiana-based company, and that concerns of local Massachusetts residents and groups do not deserve a full airing before the license is issued.
The Pilgrim Coalition says Congressman Upton ignores the public’s concerns about things like the dangers of high-level radioactive waste storage, water pollution, and safety, and misrepresents Entergy’s contribution to the economy of the region. While the Committee touted the “human importance” of the jobs at the Pilgrim station, Pilgrim Coalition says there is more at stake: the economy of Southeastern Massachusetts and the lives and jobs of the 5 million people in the 50 mile radius of Pilgrim.
Pilgrim Coalition is also calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to provide a complete explanation of any impacts from the accident this week involving the cooling water system. On Tuesday, the Pilgrim reactor was shut down and taken off line when the cooling water system shut down discharging backwash into Cape Cod Bay.