PLYMOUTH, MA — The international organization, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), and the local groups, Jones River Watershed Association (JRWA) and Pilgrim Watch, called for a thorough investigation of pollution impacts on North Atlantic right whales from Entergy’s Pilgrim nuclear reactor in Plymouth, following recent whale sightings about a half mile off shore of the station on Cape Cod Bay. On April 17, three North Atlantic right whales, among the most endangered large whales on earth, were spotted swimming in front of the Pilgrim reactor. Consistent sightings of right whales off Plymouth have been reported since late November: www.nefsc.noaa.gov/psb/surveys
Since it began operating in 1972, Entergy’s nuclear station has been sucking in and discharging up to 510 million gallons per day of polluted cooling water into Cape Cod Bay in the same area of the western shore where whales are being seen. The known pollutants include chlorine, biocides and water that is up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. While conservation groups are urging officials to explore the situation, Entergy is asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for permission to continue these operations for another 20 years.