Pilgrim’s Closing is Welcome, but Oversight and Protection Still Required

Statement by Massachusetts State Senator Dan Wolf, October 14, 2015

“This is an important, positive step for our communities’ safety, and our energy future, but now is not the time to relax: We need to make sure Pilgrim operates safely, closure happens as soon as possible, there are no further environmental impacts, the cost of decommissioning is not borne by taxpayers or ratepayers, and the people working at Pilgrim transition into good jobs. Let’s use this moment as an opportunity to reaffirm our long term commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, while continuing to expand renewable, sustainable energy supplies.” Senator Wolf

Wolf also congratulated citizen activists who have worked tirelessly to close Pilgrim. “Grassroots activism without doubt played a crucial role in educating all of us, including state and federal officials, to the problems and dangers at Pilgrim,” he said. “I applaud their efforts, and I know their voices will remain strong as we begin this transition.”

Upcoming conversations between Pilgrim’s operators, and the regional distribution system known as ISO-New England, will help determine when Pilgrim will close. “My hope is that this can be accomplished as quickly and safely as possible,” Wolf added.

The senator has two bills pending at the State House that would help protect the public from bearing the cost of Pilgrim’s shutdown. One would create an additional decommissioning fee, paid to the Commonwealth, to make sure Entergy has funds in hand to close quickly and clean up completely. The second would charge a fee for all spent fuel that remains in “wet storage” in a pool above the reactor rather than moved to “dry cask storage,” which is considered much more safe and stable. Both bills are now scheduled for a hearing before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy at the State House in mid-November.

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