Pilgrim nuclear plant one step from shutdown by regulators

Published under Fair Use

Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth. Steve Haines/Cape Cod Times.

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is now at the bottom of the performance list of the nation’s 99 operating reactors, based on its forced shutdowns and equipment failures, and in a category just one step above mandatory shutdown by federal regulators.

Source: Pilgrim nuclear plant one step from shutdown by regulators – CapeCodTimes.com – Hyannis, MA

By Christine Legere
clegere@capecodonline.com
Sep. 2, 2015

PLYMOUTH – Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is now at the bottom of the performance list of the nation’s 99 operating reactors, based on its forced shutdowns and equipment failures, and in a category just one step above mandatory shutdown by federal regulators.

Only two other plants in the country are currently in that category: Arkansas Nuclear One and Arkansas Nuclear Two. Those two, like Pilgrim, are Entergy-owned.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced the downgrade of the Pilgrim plant today. In a letter to Entergy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the downgrade was due to the plant’s failure to adequately address the issues that have caused the plant’s high number of unplanned shutdowns.
A supplemental inspection will focus on the plant’s shortcomings, “including human performance, procedure quality and equipment performance.”

The results of the supplemental inspection will “provide the NRC with additional information to be used in deciding whether the continued operation of the facility is acceptable and whether additional regulatory actions are necessary to arrest the licensee/plant performance,” the NRC said.
Entergy president of Entergy Wholesale Commodities Bill Mohl said the plant owner-operator just received the news of the downgrade. “Over the coming days Entergy will review the details of the NRC’s decision to consider what actions we need to take to enable Pilgrim Station to return to normal NRC oversight,” he said in an email.

U.S. Sen Edward Markey, D-Mass., issued a statement on Pilgrim’s dubious status. “For decades, I have raised concerns about Pilgrim’s operations, security preparedness, the safety of the surrounding communities in the event of a nuclear accident, and the willingness of Entergy to dedicate sufficient resources to run the reactor safely,” Markey wrote.

The senator noted Pilgrim is the same boiling water reactor design as those that suffered meltdowns at Fukushima.

Attorney General Maura Healey called today’s downgrade of Pilgrim “a disturbing development,” in her written statement. “My primary concern is with the safety and well-being of the residents of Massachusetts, particularly those who live near Pilgrim. Entergy must act swiftly and decisively to correct these issues and restore the public’s trust in its ability to safely operate this plant.”

Pilgrim watchdog Mary Lampert, a Duxbury resident and founder of PilgrimWatch, said this latest development is no surprise. “Pilgrim is an antique reactor built when the Beatles sang on Ed Sullivan’s show; and Entergy is unwilling to spend the money for the TLC required –it’s time to retire,” Lampert said.

Tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.