Dear NRC Commissioners:
The blizzard “Juno” hit the East Coast and Plymouth, Massachusetts on Monday, January 26, 2015 and increased in intensity until is finally wound down on Wednesday, January 28th. This storm underlined many of the risks and problems associated with Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (Pilgrim). Pilgrim was forced to shut down on January 27th due to the loss of offsite power and according to the PRELIMINARY NOTIFICATION OF EVENT OR UNUSUAL OCCURRENCE (PNO-I-15-001), this scram with complications also included three additional failures:
- The High Pressure Coolant Injection System had to be secured due to failure of the gland seal motor.
- The station diesel air compressor failed to start.
- One of the four safety relief valves could not be operated manually from the control room.
Pilgrim lost offsite power during the storm, requiring a switch to diesel powered back-up generators. Pilgrim also experienced problems sending outgoing power to the grid. From what we understand, the transmission lines that deliver power from Pilgrim to the grid froze during the storm and “arcing” occurred in Pilgrim’s switchyard. While the cause of the arcing is still unclear, we do know that storm conditions especially wind-driven salt water could have been a factor.
We also question whether Pilgrim exceeded its “Design Basis” for flooding if storm-force waves and floodwater impacted the site during high tide. There were three high tide events during the storm, the worst of which occurred around 4:30AM, only a half-hour after Pilgrim shut down. This raises questions to whether flooding or waves impacted the switchyard, causing the arcing problem to occur. In addition to these problems, Pilgrim’s High Pressure Coolant Injection (HPCI) system was also declared inoperable around 9:45AM on January 27th.
All of the problems experienced by Pilgrim during Juno coincide with your agency’s recent decision to continue to rank Pilgrim in a degraded cornerstone category. In 2014 Pilgrim was placed in this category due to a variety of problems and unplanned shutdowns in 2013. Earlier this week on January 26th, your agency issued a new report stating that Pilgrim has “not provided the assurance level to fully meet all of the inspection objectives and have correspondingly determined that Pilgrim will remain in the Degraded Cornerstone of the Action Matrix by the assignment of two parallel White PI inspection findings.” Even after a year of additional federal scrutiny and thousands of hours of inspection by NRC staff, Entergy still has not fixed the problems at Pilgrim and the plant remains one of the worst performers in the nation.
In that report, Pilgrim’s switchyard and transmission system are identified as vulnerable to harsh weather, especially winter storms. Pilgrim had already experienced similar problems during past storms and Energy has yet to adequately address the problems. Given this, the NRC should have required Pilgrim to shut down as a preventive measure as Winter Storm Juno was forecast to hit the Plymouth area. On Monday, January 26th, five organizations representing thousands of citizens called for Pilgrim to be closed during the storm as a proactive measure, yet it was the storm itself that caused the scram and complications. While the NRC has already determined in the recent report that Entergy had not completed required corrective actions, this event proves the company is not above avoiding necessary updates for safety.
Had there been a need for implementing the emergency response plans, the Town of Plymouth and surrounding area roads were impassable with drifting snow several feet deep. It would have been impossible for any evacuation in these conditions.
Juno also highlighted problems with Entergy’s proposed FLEX plan. This plan would require workers or the Plymouth fire department to drive along the shore, set up a portable pump and hose on the shoreline to pull water from Cape Cod Bay to manually cool the reactor and spent fuel pool in a station blackout event. Juno brought hurricane force wind gusts, heavy snow, white out conditions, frigid temperatures and very rough surf impacting the Pilgrim site. We don’t believe Pilgrim’s FLEX plan would have worked in an emergency situation during the storm let alone putting the lives of the flex plan operators at risk. Was the flex plan practiced during those conditions on January 27th?
If Pilgrim is allowed to come back online, it’s clear that Entergy needs to be fully accountable to the public and produce an accurate and updated assessment of Pilgrim’s risks to extreme weather conditions including intense wind, storm surge, very heavy snow and blizzard conditions.
The NRC should require Pilgrim to carry out this assessment immediately. We ask that you consider Jones River Watershed Association’s Elevation Analysis (http://jonesriver.org/pilgrim-elevation-analysis) recently developed in conjunction with Northeastern Geospatial Research Professionals, Inc. The elevation analysis maps that were produced clearly show that our concerns are valid related to flooding and storm impacts on the Pilgrim site. It’s important for the NRC to bear in mind that, while Juno was intense, it was not the worse storm or conditions capable of impacting our area. For example extreme high tides did not occur during the storm and Juno’s high winds were gusts rather than sustained winds. If these conditions had occurred, it would likely have resulted in a far worse outcome for Pilgrim.
With all the problems that have plagued the Pilgrim facility over the years and especially the most current event this past week, we are urging the NRC to keep the Pilgrim reactor shut down and to strongly consider your mandate for public health and safety by not allowing this reactor to restart.
Thus, the undersigned groups request that the NRC not allow Pilgrim to restart since public safety cannot be assured.
Mass DEP will take public comments on Entergy’s application to implement their plan for a “Fukushima fix” in the tidelands at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. Interested citizens should attend and comment!
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/
The Association for the Preservation of Cape Cod has released their study:
“Based on the importance of Cape Cod’s natural resources and the impacts and threats posed by Pilgrim, APCC calls on public officials and regulatory agencies to revoke Pilgrim’s permits and to require that Pilgrim be decommissioned in the shortest time and safest manner feasible. We also recommend additional measures to safeguard the Cape’s environment and human population.”
Decision driven by sustained low power prices, high cost structure and wholesale electricity market design flaws for Vermont Yankee plant – Focus to remain on safety during remaining operation and after shutdown
(PRNewswire) NEW ORLEANS – Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) today said it plans to close and decommission its Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Vernon, Vt. The station is expected to cease power production after its current fuel cycle and move to safe shutdown in the fourth quarter of 2014. The station will remain under the oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission throughout the decommissioning process.Keep reading
“This was an agonizing decision and an extremely tough call for us,” said Leo Denault, Entergy’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Vermont Yankee has an immensely talented, dedicated and loyal workforce, and a solid base of support among many in the community. We recognize that closing the plant on this schedule was not the outcome they had hoped for, but we have reluctantly concluded that it is the appropriate action for us to take under the circumstances.”
The decision to close Vermont Yankee in 2014 was based on a number of financial factors, including:
– A natural gas market that has undergone a transformational shift in supply due to the impacts of shale gas, resulting in sustained low natural gas prices and wholesale energy prices.
– A high cost structure for this single unit plant. Since 2002, the company has invested more than $400 million in the safe and reliable operation of the facility. In addition, the financial impact of cumulative regulation is especially challenging to a small plant in these market conditions.
– Wholesale market design flaws that continue to result in artificially low energy and capacity prices in the region, and do not provide adequate compensation to merchant nuclear plants for the fuel diversity benefits they provide.
Making the decision now and operating through the fourth quarter of 2014 allows time to duly and properly plan for a safe and orderly shutdown and prepare filings with the NRC regarding shutdown and decommissioning. Entergy will establish a decommissioning planning organization responsible for planning and executing the safe and efficient decommissioning of the facility. Once the plant is shut down, workers will de-fuel the reactor and place the plant into SAFSTOR, a process whereby a nuclear facility is placed and maintained in a condition that allows it to be safely secured, monitored and stored.
“We are committed to the safe and reliable operation of Vermont Yankee until shutdown, followed by a safe, orderly and environmentally responsible decommissioning process,” Denault said.
Commenting on the future of nuclear power, Denault said: “Entergy remains committed to nuclear as an important long-term component of its generating portfolio. Nuclear energy is safe, reliable, carbon-free and contributes to supply diversity and energy security as part of a balanced energy portfolio.”
Entergy plans to recognize an after-tax impairment charge of approximately $181 million in the third quarter of 2013 related to the decision to shut down the plant at the end of this current operating cycle. In addition to this initial charge, Entergy expects to recognize charges totaling approximately $55 to $60 million associated with future severance and employee retention costs through the end of next year. These charges will be classified as special items, and therefore, excluded from operational results.
The company noted that the estimated operational earnings contribution from Vermont Yankee was expected to be around breakeven in 2013, and generally declining over the next few years. As a result of this decision and based on continuing operations into fourth quarter 2014, the estimated operational earnings change, excluding these special items, is expected to be modestly accretive within two years after shutdown, and cash flow is expected to increase approximately $150 to $200 million in total through 2017, compared to Vermont Yankee’s continued operation.
Regarding decommissioning, assuming end of operations in fourth quarter 2014, the amount required to meet the NRC minimum for decommissioning financial assurance for license termination is $566 million. The Vermont Yankee decommissioning trust had a balance of approximately $582 million as of July 31, 2013, excluding the $40 million guarantee by Entergy Corporation to satisfy NRC requirements following the 2009 review of financial assurance levels. Filings with the NRC for planned shutdown activities will determine whether any other financial assurance may be required and will specifically address funding for spent fuel management, which will be required until the federal government takes possession of the fuel and removes it from the site, per its current obligations.
Vermont Yankee, a single unit boiling water reactor, began commercial operation in 1972. Entergy acquired the plant from Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation in 2002. In March 2011, the NRC renewed the station’s operating license for an additional 20 years, until 2032.Additional information regarding today’s announcement is available in the Frequently Asked Questions section of www.entergy.com.
Entergy Corporation, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year, is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
In this news release, and from time to time, Entergy makes certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, Entergy undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. There are factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, including (a) those factors discussed in this release and in: (i) Entergy’s Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2012, (ii) Entergy’s Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2013 and June 30, 2013 and (iii) Entergy’s other reports and filings made under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; (b) uncertainties associated with rate proceedings, formula rate plans and other cost recovery mechanisms; (c) uncertainties associated with efforts to remediate the effects of major storms and recover related restoration costs; (d) nuclear plant relicensing, operating and regulatory risks, including any changes resulting from the nuclear crisis in Japan following its catastrophic earthquake and tsunami; (e) legislative and regulatory actions and risks and uncertainties associated with claims or litigation by or against Entergy and its subsidiaries; (f) conditions in commodity and capital markets during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements, in addition to other factors described elsewhere in this release and subsequent securities filings and (g) risks inherent in the proposed spin-off and subsequent merger of Entergy’s electric transmission business with a subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp. Entergy cannot provide any assurances that the spin-off and merger transaction will be completed and cannot give any assurance as to the terms on which such transaction will be consummated. The spin-off and merger transaction is subject to certain conditions precedent, including regulatory approvals.
SOURCE Entergy Corporation / CONTACT: Media Relations, (802) 258-2143,(802) 258-2144, email@example.com, or Paula Waters (Investor Relations), (504) 576-4380, firstname.lastname@example.org / Web site: http://www.entergy.com
PLYMOUTH, MA – The Plymouth Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a hearing on June 12, 2013, on Entergy Corporation’s failure to obtain a special permit for its long-term “dry cask” storage facility at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth.
“Dry cask storage is a preferred method for storing Pilgrim’s spent nuclear fuel, but it must be done right,” said Meg Sheehan,of EcoLaw, a non-profit group that is providing volunteer legal service. Sheehan is one of a team of lawyers representing the residents bringing the appeal. The appeal seeks to ensure community oversight and participation in the siting, construction and operation of the project.
On June 3, 2013, the legal team filed the legal brief with the Zoning Board of Appeals setting forth its arguments on why the law requires Entergy to get a special permit. A copy of the brief can be found here: http://www.ecolaw.biz/nuclear-power
The dry casks will store highly dangerous spent nuclear fuel close to residences and on the shores of Cape Cod Bay. The radioactive nuclear storage facility will likely be in Plymouth for up to 300 years. Sheehan said, “this project has tremendous implications for local residents who may suffer harm to their real estate values, businesses, health, and well-being.”
If the Board requires Entergy to file for the special permit, there will be another public hearing in which concerned residents can provide comments to the Board about what the permit should require.
The team of volunteer lawyers representing the residents includes James Lampert, Ted Bosen and EcoLaw Attorneys Meg Sheehan, Anne Bingham, and Genevieve Byrne.
14 Cape Cod Towns pass a public advisory question to close the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.
CAPE COD, MA – The results are in and Cape Cod residents have spoken. Last night Falmouth, Yarmouth, Brewster, Orleans and Harwich voters passed a public advisory question to call on Governor Patrick to request the Nuclear Regulatory Commission uphold their mandate to close the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station because the public safety of Cape Cod cannot be assured. The success of this campaign had already been achieved in Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Chatham, Dennis, Mashpee, Bourne, and Sandwich. Barnstable will be the last Town to conclude the campaign when Barnstable voters speak at the ballot box this fall.
Last October, Massachusetts Emergency Management Director Kurt Schwartz informed Cape Cod residents if a nuclear accident occurred at Pilgrim they will be “in harm’s way” of a radioactive plume. Cape Codders would be relocated because their properties will be so contaminated with radiation and therefore uninhabitable. The Fukushima nuclear disaster in March, 2011 has displaced over 160,000 people from their homes indefinitely. Tom Setzer, an NRC official confirmed at an NRC open meeting last month in Plymouth a catastrophic nuclear accident just like Fukushima could happen at Pilgrim.
Cape Cod voters were clear by voting yes to close Pilgrim. Arlene Williamson, spokes person for Cape Downwinders stated “The risks of a nuclear accident increase every day the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station continues to operate”.
The 41 year old facility has experienced nine automatic shutdowns just this year for leaking valves, leaking pipes, pump failures, power outages and most recently last Monday a fire broke out when turbine auxiliary pumps failed.
Cape Downwinders co-founder Diane Turco, stated “The Pilgrim reactor is recognized by Cape Cod voters as an ongoing imminent threat to their health and safety”. The people of Cape Cod have spoken and now request Governor Patrick, as the Chief Public Safety Officer for the State of Massachusetts, to take action and call on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to close the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth.”
PLYMOUTH – A group of local residents has appealed a Plymouth zoning permit granted to Entergy Nuclear Generating Corporation (Entergy). The zoning permit, granted without any public hearing, gives Entergy the right to have a long-term high-level nuclear waste storage facility at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Pilgrim’s operating license will expire in 2032. The proposed nuclear waste dump will store all of the radioactive fuel rods that Pilgrim has generated since 1972, for many, many years after Pilgrim itself shuts down.
The appeal, filed with the Plymouth Zoning Board of Appeals on April 25, 2013, asks the ZBA to revoke the permit because the long-term, outdoor, dry cask storage of nuclear waste is not a “permitted use” under the Plymouth zoning laws, and because such storage also is not what the zoning permit calls an “accessory use.” The appeal also asks the ZBA to require Entergy to obtain a special permit. Under the special permit process, the ZBA can set conditions that will insure that the nuclear waste dump is built and operated as safely as possible; the special permit process also allows for public input.
Meg Sheehan, spokesperson for EcoLaw, a group of volunteer lawyers representing the residents, said, “We support dry cask storage, but think the residents of the area are entitled to the safest, most secure storage facility that can be built. Entergy apparently did not give critical facts to the Plymouth Director of Inspectional Services. The real fact of the matter is that, without a special permit, Plymouth zoning does not allow long-term nuclear waste storage.”
Ms. Sheehan went on to point out that the 1967 special permit for Pilgrim did not allow either the construction or the long term operation of a nuclear waste storage facility. That special permit was limited to “a nuclear-powered generating plant and associated buildings, roads, and transmission facilities”; and in requesting the special permit Pilgrim’s original owner, Boston Edison, said “The project will not include a repair station or outside storage of supplies.”
“Coincidentally,” Mary Lampert of Pilgrim Watch commented, “in mid-April the NRC said that spent fuel storage cask structures and components were prematurely degrading from moisture and weathering, especially in marine environments, and pointed to the need for enhanced monitoring and adequate drainage. A Special Permit would allow the Town to have a ‘say’ to assure that these measures, and more, are done to better protect both the public’s and worker’s health and safety.”
“In the past,” said Ms. Sheehan, “Pilgrim’s owners have asked the ZBA for special permits when they wanted to make changes at Pilgrim. Why is Entergy now trying to avoid the special permit process and get away with doing the minimum possible? That’s not OK.”
The next step in the appeal process is for the Zoning Board to schedule a public hearing, which will be held in the next 2 to 3 months.
For more information and copy of appeal: http://www.ecolaw.biz/nuclear-power
Article passes by a vote of 197 to 2
CAPE COD, MASSACHUSETTS – Provincetown town meeting members voted 197-2 on Wednesday April 3, 2013 to call on Governor Deval Patrick to request the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) close Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (PNPS).
Cape Downwinders initiated a Cape-wide petition to give citizens a voice for public health and safety with twelve Cape Cod towns having the public advisory question on a ballot or warrant. Two additional town boards, Yarmouth and Falmouth, will vote next week to include the petition on their town ballot.
The public advisory question reveals the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and Entergy’s radiological emergency plans to keep residents on the Cape in the event of a severe accident even if a radioactive plume is moving over the area. The Sagamore and Bourne bridges will be closed to facilitate Plymouth evacuation efforts, and the state would later determine hot spots and “relocate” residents.
PNPS is a GE Mark l Boiling Water Reactor with the same design as Fukushima Daiichi where safety systems failed after loss of offsite power causing 3 meltdowns. In Japan, the US government called for a 50 mile evacuation of American citizens for their protection. With a no-go zone around the destroyed reactors expanding out to 20 miles, over 160,000 people were removed from their home indefinitely. Recently, the NRC held an open house in Plymouth where an NRC official Tom Setzer agreed that ‘Fukushima can happen here”.
A year ago, Governor Patrick, Attorney General Coakley, Congressmen Keating and Markey, State Senate President Murray, Senator Wolf, and Representative Peake all requested that the NRC withhold relicensing of PNPS until lessons learned from Fukushima were addressed. The NRC ignored those pleas and relicensed PNPS for another 20 years. Entergy will continue to operate the reactor even though there are imminent dangers involving 3,400 spent fuel assemblies in a pool designed for 880, a poorly designed containment structure known to have a 90% chance of failure, and serious problems with the emergency plans.
Cape Downwinders spokesperson Diane Turco said, “What is being protected here-people or profits? Telling the public to stay put, take the radiation hit, and relocate later will not be tolerated. The people are calling for the NRC to uphold their mandate to shut a nuclear power reactor if the public safety cannot be assured. Provincetown has spoken and the rest of the Cape will follow”.
Additional concerns focus on the lack of oversight by local and federal authorities and possible improper use of public funds
PLYMOUTH, MA – Local citizen advocacy organizations Pilgrim Coalition, Pilgrim Watch and EcoLaw announced today that they have called upon the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to immediately enforce its own regulations regarding the construction of a nuclear waste storage facility at Entergy Corporation’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant.
“Entergy is currently building a retaining wall, a road and moving sewage lines for this nuclear waste storage facility without adhering to NRC regulations,” said Meg Sheehan of EcoLaw. “It is outrageous that Entergy is continuing this construction without the appropriate state, federal and local oversight or permits.”
The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station on Cape Cod Bay is directly in the path of the historic winter storm due to hit Plymouth, Mass. starting Friday. According to information from the National Weather Service, there could bewidespread prolonged power outages, coastal flooding and erosion, and hurricane force winds.
Local groups have asked the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to order Entergy Corporation, Pilgrim’s operator, to take the reactor offline during the storm to prevent an unacceptable risk to the public and the environment. This storm differs from Hurricane Sandy because it is hitting Plymouth during high tide, not low tide, and will be accompanied by heavy snow and ice.
The groups say that a prolonged power outage, flooding, high winds, and snow and ice could cause several serious problems at Pilgrim. First, the pumps that circulate water through the pool of high-‐level nuclear waste could fail. If this happens, the water in the spent fuel pool would eventually evaporate, exposing the spent fuel to air. Second, Pilgrim’s cooling water intake pumps, which take in over 500 million gallons of water per day from Cape Cod Bay to cool the reactor, could flood or fail. Under either scenario, there could be an explosion that would release radioactive material throughout the region.
BOURNE, MA — Last week a Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) official told local officials and residents that the state agency is considering working on a traffic plan that would essentially ask Cape Codders to stay in place were a radiological accident to happen at Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (PNPS) in Plymouth. All of Cape Cod is within 37 miles of the facility and well within the 50 mile Ingestion Pathway Emergency Planning Zone.
At the meeting requested by Cape Downwinders and attended by local emergency officials from Barnstable, Mashpee, and Bourne, and Seth Rolbein, Senator Wolf’s chief advisor, MEMA Deputy Director Christine Packard told the group that MEMA has been in contact with Entergy Co., owners of the PNPS, to support and fund a traffic control study for Cape Cod. Ms. Packard reiterated that plans will be dealing with traffic control only and not address the lack of safety plans outside the 10 mile emergency planning zone (EPZ). The ‘shadow evacuation’ area extends 5 miles beyond the 10 mile EPZ and includes parts of Bourne and Sandwich. There are no evacuation instructions for those residents in that identified zone nor does MEMA plan to include any plans for Cape residents and visitors to evacuate.
“There are no plans to evacuate us from danger. There are no plans to shelter us from danger,” said Falmouth resident Bill Maurer, “but there are plans to control us during that danger which essentially insures that we will be exposed to that danger.”
According to Diane Turco of Cape Downwinders, MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz told the Barnstable Regional Emergency Planning Committee last October, “You will be in harm’s way”, acknowledging the serious irsk to people living on the Cape.
“The state’s response to citizen calls for public safety is to acknowledge Cape residents exposure to dangerous levels of radioactive materials and then relocate the population somewhere. The proposed traffic control plan is about controlling us to just stay put and take the hit.”, said Turco.
Organizers of the January 3 event said they were told by MEMA officials that the press would not be allowed at the meeting.
For additional information: David Agnew (774) 722-3728 / Paul Rifkin (508) 737-9545
Press Contacts: Bill Maurer: (508) 299-3936 / Diane Turco: (508) 432-1744
PLYMOUTH, MA — Entergy Corporation could be could be liable for up to $831,325,000.00 in civil penalties for polluting Cape Cod Bay at its Pilgrim nuclear reactor. According to a letter sent to the company and federal officials on October 5, 2012 by local residents, since 1996, there have been 33,253 violations of the federal Clean Water Act at the Pilgrim station. The law provides a $25,000.00 civil penalty for each violation.
The letter was sent under the provisions of the federal Clean Water Act, which gives citizens the right to enforce the law if the government fails to do so. Citizens must give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency written notice of the pollution and a chance to act on the violations. If the agency does not act, citizens can bring a suit after 60 days. Entergy could avoid being sued by reaching an agreement with the citizens or EPA over the violations, and stopping the activities that are alleged to be unlawful. The letter tells the EPA that the citizens may file a lawsuit after 60 days if the agency does not act.
The Pilgrim nuclear power station uses 510 million gallons a day of ocean water for its once-through cooling system. Marine life is harmed by the water intake, and after cycling through Pilgrim, the heated ocean water is discharged at temperatures up to 32 degrees hotter, and sometimes 120 degrees hotter, and containing chemical pollution. Pilgrim has been using the once-through cooling system since 1972, and was recently relicensed for another 20 years by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The letter identifies 15 different types of violations of the Clean Water Act. They include unlawfully discharging into the Bay a chemical used to control corrosion in the station’s pipes, exceeding legal limits for pH and chlorine, discharging total suspended solids and oil and grease without a permit, and failing to properly monitor and report pollutant discharges. The letter also alleges that Entergy has failed to conduct required biological monitoring to assess the impacts of the cooling water system on the Bay. The letter claims the 33,253 violations are documented in Entergy’s own monitoring reports filed with the government every month.
Also on October 5, a group of residents sent a separate notice of intent to sue to the state Department of Environmental Protection for allowing Entergy to damage the environment and failing to enforce the law. The state law allows a “damage to the environment” case to be brought, based on violations of pollution laws. The residents can initiate the state suit 21 days after the October 5 letter if the state does not act.
“Our ocean is not Entergy’s dump. Cape Cod Bay belongs to all of us. Our regulators should be enforcing the laws that prevent this kind of pollution.” — Pine duBois, one of three residents who are signatories to the letter
“Our oceans and fisheries are in terrible shape, and stopping Entergy’s pollution is one way to make things better. The Bay belongs to all of us. It is vital to tourism and is part of our natural and marine heritage. Pilgrim has been polluting Cape Cod Bay for over 40 years. Enough is enough.” — Meg Sheehan, one of the attorneys representing the residents
Table of Contents
Pilgrim: How Boiling Water Reactors Work 1
Spent Fuel Storage -Pool Fires 2
Containment Failure: Vent & Hydrogen Explosions 5
Pilgrim- Electric Reliability 10
Emergency Planning 12
Post Accident Cleanup 16
Risks From Daily Operations
Radiation Health Impacts 17
Marine Impacts 29
NRC Oversight- Public Participation- Alternatives
NRC Oversight 30
Public Participation 31
Do We Need Pilgrim’s Electric Power? 32
Cape Cod Bay Watch, a campaign of affiliated non-profits and individuals who are working to protect the health and welfare of the bay and its ecosystem, will celebrate the opening of its new office in historic downtown Plymouth by inviting the public to an open house Friday, September 7, from 5–7pm. The office is located at 58C Main Street, Plymouth MA.
The recently launched campaign will provide education and information to local residents and tourists about the fragile ecosystem of Cape Cod Bay and how it is being threatened. Cape Cod Bay Watch (CapeCodBayWatch.org) is particularly concerned about the impact of the cooling system of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, located on Plymouth Bay, and its cycling of 510 million gallons of water a day from the bay.
“The bay supports the fishing industry and aquaculture, tourism and recreation, because of its unique qualities and there are many people and organizations working hard to protect its marine aquatic life so we can have a vibrant and healthy Bay,” said activist Pine duBois of the Jones River Watershed Association. “This office will provide us with a place to bring our findings together and share it with the public.”
PLYMOUTH, MA — Jones River Watershed Association (JRWA) and Pilgrim Watch (PW) yesterday renewed their request for government agencies to address issues relating to Entergy-Louisiana’s destruction and pollution of Cape Cod Bay from its operations at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth. Pilgrim takes in and heats 510 million gallons a day of sea water to make steam for its electric turbines and cool the reactor. This process kills plankton, fish and other sea life.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Pilgrim’s operations have created a four-square mile thermal plume of pollution in Cape Cod Bay. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Entergy data shows that in the past 40 years, Pilgrim has used an amount of water equivalent to the entire volume of Cape Cod Bay for its cooling water system. On June 15, 2012, the two groups delivered a letter to the state office of Energy and Envrionmental Affairs asking the office to revoke its 2006 approval for Energy’s relicensing under the Coastal Zone Management Act: JRWA to MCZM: Reconsider Consistency Certification (PDF)
“It is clear that the state has authority to stop the destruction of Cape Cod Bay from Entergy’s pollution. The state Supreme Judicial Court in 2011 ruled that the harmful environmental impact of cooling water intake systems like Entergy’s is “staggering.” Yet, the state agencies are standing by and letting this destruction continue.” — Pine duBois, executive director of JRWA
PLYMOUTH, MA — Today a statewide coalition of public health, nuclear safety, social justice, and environmental groups delivered a letter to Governor Deval Patrick requesting that he ask the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to close the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station because the plant’s owner has locked out its regular workforce from the Utility Workers of America Union Local 369.
BOSTON, MA — Citizens will rally tomorrow show their concern that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is not making nuclear power plants safe enough in light of lessons learned from the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan. The rally will be held June 7 at 9:15 a.m., outside the John W. McCormack Post Office and Court House, 5 Post Office Square, Boston.
Pilgrim Coalition, Clean Water Action and other public health, environmental, and watchdog groups will rally outside the courthouse before a 10 a.m. hearing with a NRC Atomic Safety Licensing Board (ASLB). The hearing was requested by Duxbury-based Pilgrim Watch, an opponent of the recent relicensing of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth.
“In the week where Pilgrim was shut down due to a cooling water system malfunction, and the community gathered to raise awareness over safety, Congressman Upton and his colleagues saw fit to do Entergy-Louisiana’s bidding 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