VIDEO: Plymouth selectman asks NRC to organize meeting of 104 nuke towns

By Frank Mand
Wicked Local Plymouth
Posted Apr 06, 2013

Sometimes, when the customer service department doesn’t answer your questions or can’t satisfy your requests, you just have to ask to speak to the boss.

That’s what the chairman of Plymouth’s Board of Selectmen did Tuesday night. Unsatisfied with the answers the town has been getting from Entergy, the owner of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant, and the response from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Chairman Matt Muratore asked to speak to the boss – the president of the United States.

The NRC was in town to report on and answer questions about Pilgrim’s performance in 2012. At the request of the town manager representatives also agreed to follow that meeting with a public forum on Entergy’s plans to add dry cask storage units at the Pilgrim facility.

But as soon as the meeting began, it was apparent the open house, at least, would not be a gathering of old friends.

On one side of the Mayflower Room in Town Hall was the NRC, standing like Christians in the coliseum. On the other side were the lions, represented by a wide assortment of nuclear power critics from Plymouth and Cape Cod.

And there were few satisfied customers in sight.

The NRC dispensed a good deal of information from experts in many fields, but it was clear that, short of announcing the plant’s closure, there was little they could say to please this crowd.

For several months critics of Pilgrim have decried the likelihood that, with the construction of the dry cask storage units (referred to by NRC officials as Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installations or ISFSI), the Rocky Hill Road site could be housing nuclear waste for centuries, without any additional transparency or oversight.

The words spoken by town officials sounded much like those of the plant critics.

In all, there were four hours of often-contentious exchanges Tuesday night, but the only thing both sides seemed to agree on was that, as Selectman Ken Tavares said, “The mood has changed.”

“You have to understand that as residents we are not comfortable any more,” Tavares told the NRC officials as the second portion of the meeting began. “For many years we felt that the management of the plant and the NRC had our best interests at heart.”

Since Fukushima, though, that trust has disappeared and what he’s hearing now is alarming, Tavares said.

“You have to tell the people back in Washington, that they need to do a better job of communicating,” Tavares added. “I think you need to come back on a regular basis. You have to be here to answer the public’s questions and concerns.”

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via VIDEO: Plymouth selectman asks NRC to organize meeting of 104 nuke towns – News – Plymouth, MA – Wicked Local Plymouth.

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