Despite having had 10 prior emergency shutdowns during severe weather events (the industry calls them ‘automatic shutdowns’), Entergy and their lapdog regulators saw no reason for a precautionary shutdown in the face of Nor’easter Juno even as Governor Baker ordered a halt to all non-emergency driving in the Commonwealth.
As snow drifts made a mockery of Pilgrim’s emergency evacuation plans, the creaky old reactor managed an emergency sudden control rod activation anyway, and while that shutdown was in progress, a major cooling system (high-pressure coolant injection) became inoperable. Then they lost instrumentation to tell them if they needed to send guys to the shore to try, in the pounding, freezing surf, their new ‘FLEX’ pulley-thingy to jury-rig some cooling water.
Entergy spokesperson Lauren Brum said about this ‘situation’:
“there was never any threat at all to the safety of plant workers or the public.”
Entergy evidently does not realize:
- Pilgrim is a NUCLEAR reactor!
- Pilgrim is a DEFECTIVE design (the containment cannot contain)
- it’s past its ‘use-by’ date
- its “containment” has VENTS
- those vents are NOT FILTERED
- nuclear reactors have EVACUATION PLANS for a reason
- Pilgrim’s evacuation plan presumes no appreciable snow and clear roads
- lack of a major cooling system could have a consequence
- knowledge of the water level at the cooling water intake could be useful
For some reason, not everyone believes that there was never any threat. See Frank Mand’s fine Feb. 11 story: PILGRIM STATION: Tweet heats up debate over plant safety