On July 10th, the Plymouth Zoning Board of Appeals ruled against 16 Plymouth residents who appealed a prior decision to allow Entergy to begin an Interim Spent Fuel Storage Installation without a special permit. Building a garage on your property requires a special permit, but building a facility to store nuclear waste for about 300 years evidently does not.
The board found that a special permit was not needed because storing fuel outside of the reactor in dry casks was a conforming or accessory use to the 1967 special permit which allowed construction of the reactor. Just 2 members of the 5-member board voted in favor of the appellants – 4 votes were needed. The ZBA decision will probably be appealed to a state court.
However, in 1967 dry cask storage hadn’t been invented, and there was no perceived need to storage beyond the fuel pool since the plan was to ship all the high-level waste to a permanent repository (which never materialized).
Three-minute clip of Frank Mand of the Old Colony Memorial describing this story.
Previous article What to ask about casks by Frank Mand explains citizens’ concerns about Entergy’s construction of a nuclear waste dump in Plymouth with no input by citizens or oversight by the town.