Polluting the Bay and Damaging Our Ecosystem
For 40 years, Pilgrim’s once-through “cooling water intake structure” (CWIS) has used over a half-billion gallons per day of sea water from Cape Cod Bay – for free – then dumping it back in the Bay about 32 degrees hotter and polluted with toxic chemicals and radioactive materials. This cooling water system is outdated: better technology is being used at other power stations.
Pilgrim has used the equivalent of the entire volume of Cape Cod Bay over the last four decades for cooling, drawing in and killing about a million fish and billions of plankton, fish eggs, larvae, and other marine life. This is a far greater impact than was projected in pre-permitting studies in 1970 that led to the licensing of Pilgrim in the first place.
In 2006, Entergy sued MassDEP to avoid new water pollution regulations. In 2011, the Supreme Judicial Court upheld the new regs, saying, “The environmental impact of [CWIS] is staggering…destabilizing wildlife populations in the surrounding ecosystem. In areas with a designated use as aquatic habitat (such as Cape Cod Bay where Pilgrim’s CWIS operates), therefore, CWISs hinder the attainment of water quality standards.”
Violations by Entergy:
No state CWIS permit as required by 2006 regulations.
Discharge violations: Since at least 1995, discharging toxic corrosion inhibitors without a state or federal permit; chlorine discharge limit violations in 5 of last 12 quarters.
The joint EPA-DEP Clean Water Act “NPDES” permit expired 16 years ago; and although it has been “administratively extended” for 16 years, Entergy has violated its terms since 2000.
The Massachusetts “Section 401 certification” of the NPDES permit is outdated and invalid given unpermitted discharges of various pollutants and other violations.
Since about 2000, no approved “marine monitoring plan” as required by NPDES permit.
Since 2000, Entergy has refused to cooperate with the required technical advisory committee, which was set up as an “intergral part” of the NPDES permit. Entergy is not meeting its obligations: without compliance with this critical provision, the permit is meaningless.
Radioactive tritium is leaking into the groundwater which flows into Cape Cod Bay.
State 2006 coastal zone management “federal consistency certification” is invalid.
Feb 28, 2007: EPA Letter to NRC
General Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants
IN THE NEWS
NIRS More info →
The Department of Energy (DOE) is considering a plan to allow radioactively-contaminated metal from nuclear weapons facilities to be “recycled.” This would allow this toxic metal to be mixed with clean recycled metal and enter into normal commerce—where it could be turned into anything from your next pants zipper to baby toys. Act now to stop this outrage! Deadline is February 11, 2013.
Huffington Post Source →
Two years after the disaster at the Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant in Japan — called the “worst accidental release of radiation to the ocean in history” — a fish with staggering levels of radiation has reportedly been found in the vicinity of the plant.
According to French newspaper Le Monde, the fish was caught last Friday. It reportedly contained more than 2,500 times the legal limit for radiation in seafood.
The AFP writes:
[Plant operator] Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said caesium equivalent to 254,000 becquerels per kilogramme — or 2,540 times more than the government seafood limit — was detected in a “murasoi” fish.
The fish, similar to rockfish, was caught at a port inside the Fukushima plant, a TEPCO spokesman said.
The find is a stark reminder that fears of radiation continue to haunt the island nation years after the nuclear catastrophe rocked Japan’s waters.
Today JRWA and Pilgrim Watch filed a legal appeal with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission claiming that the NRC, Entergy, and USFWS violated the Endangered Species Act by finding that relicensing of Pilgrim will have “no effect” on the roseate tern.
“…until we can be assured that there is no threat to public safety and adverse environmental impact, the Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission stands in opposition to the relicensing of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant.”