Orleans Democratic Town Committee unanimously seeks Pilgrim’s closure

Orleans Democratic Town Committee
P.O. Box 2271
Orleans, MA 02653

April 6,  2015
Office of the Governor
Massachusetts State House, Rm 280
Boston, MA 02133

Dear Governor Baker,

In March, the Orleans Democratic Town Committee unanimously voted to seek your urgent support in pressuring the NRC to uphold its mandate to protect public safety by revoking the operating license of the Pilgrim Nuclear Plant in Plymouth.

You are undoubtedly familiar with the unsafe conditions that risk the safety of Cape Cod, Southeastern Massachusetts and New England residents.   Last year, 15 Cape Cod towns supported local ballot questions to close Pilgrim.  Despite this Cape-wide consensus, the dangers posed by Pilgrim have been ignored by the NRC which has taken no action to make this aging facility safe.  During NRC’s 2014 inspection of the 94 U.S. plants, three received its lowest rating indicating a degraded performance level.  Pilgrim was one of them.

Pilgrim is an accident waiting to happen with dire consequences:

  • Pilgrim is already two years beyond its 40-year life expectancy yet the NRC has just relicensed it until 2032   Although it recently failed an inspection by federal regulators, no corrective actions have been taken. 
  • Pilgrim is the same failed GE model as Fukishima.  It stores 3,200 spent fuel rods in a storage facility designed for 800 under a tin roof vulnerable to fire.
  • The Pentagon named Pilgrim as one of the top 8 terror targets-by-sea, yet this fall, two protestors walked through the gates and into the facility, finding no one in the front office and no answer on the “ visitor” phone.
  • There is no evacuation plan for Cape Cod.  The bridges will be closed and residents instructed to “shelter in place” where there is only 10% protection from radiation at home or 40% protection for the lucky ones with cement basements.
  • All of Cape Cod is within the 50 mile radius known as the “ingestion pathway zone.”  Simply put, this means that in the event of a nuclear accident our food and water will be poisoned by radiation.

While we have focused here on public safety, we are sure you are aware of the equally devastating threats to health, families, livelihood, property and environment. It makes no sense to put all of this on the line for 5 percent of our energy needs.

We realize that the real power rests with the NRC.  However, we ask you to use your considerable political influence to protect the safety of our Cape Cod towns by demanding the decommissioning of Pilgrim. The same letter has been sent to all state and federal legislators and Cape and Islands town Democratic Committees.  We also ask you to support legislation filed by state legislators Senator Dan Wolf and Representative Sarah Peake to try to make Pilgrim safe.

Robin Hubbard, Chair
Orleans, MA 02653

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