PLYMOUTH, MA – Residents will get a chance to hear representatives from Entergy, the Louisiana based company which owns the Pilgrim nuclear station, explain its plan for a new emergency water cooling system on public tidelands at a hearing before the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) at 10 a.m., Tuesday, November 18, in the Mayflower Room at Plymouth Town Hall, 11 Lincoln Street. Entergy has applied to DEP for a license for an emergency cooling water system to be put on public tidelands.
Entergy’s proposal is in response to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s new requirements created after the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, which destroyed nuclear reactors the same vintage and model as the one at Pilgrim.
“Entergy’s plan to put moorings and a manual pulley in the protected tidelands is not a fix,” said Anna Baker of the Pilgrim Coalition, a network of organizations and residents who keep an eye on developments at Pilgrim. “There are many questions about whether this system is adequately designed to prevent a nuclear meltdown at Pilgrim and whether it meets the requirements for the state’s Chapter 91 tidelands license.”
According to members of Pilgrim Coalition, the state tidelands laws (General Laws, Chapter 91, and regulations at 310 CMR 9.00) protect the public’s rights in beach between the low tide and high tide mark and under Cape Cod Bay. A corporation that wants to use the tidelands for private purposes must provide mitigation, compensation, or an occupation fee to the public and the project must serve a “proper public purpose.”
Entergy’s proposal for the DEP license involves two moorings in the Bay that are used to control hoses and pumps to get water from Cape Cod Bay. The system would be operated by Entergy workers or the Plymouth Fire Department and will require them to be on the beach during an extreme weather event such as a hurricane. Resident Bill Maurer says “this contraption does not pass the straight face test for keeping us safe in the event of a catastrophic accident at Pilgrim. Moreover, Entergy has not shown how they are going to capture this water once it becomes contaminated, raising questions about the pollution of Cape Cod Bay.”
Many in the group, which sent DEP comments in July 2014 and requested the hearing, say Entergy’s application fails to adequately describe how the project will operate under various conditions, how long Entergy plans to keep the system in place, and does not serve a proper public purpose.
For more information: www.capecodbaywatch.org/2014/10/entergys-waterways-application-state-grants-hearing-to-citizens/