Entergy, owner of the Pilgrim nuclear station in Plymouth, has been ordered by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to install a new safety improvement for extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy.
This project is supposed to act as a back up cooling water system to avoid a nuclear meltdown and catastrophic spent fuel pool fire in case Pilgrim loses electricity in an extreme natural event such as Superstorm Sandy. Entergy’s proposed system requires workers to stand on the beach with a fire hose, portable pump, and truck to pump water from the Bay. The system does not make sense and there are better alternatives. Entergy’s Chapter 91 Application was filed in May 2014.
Entergy’s project doesn’t pass the straight face test, is being done on the cheap, and won’t keep us safe.
The Public Hearing at Plymouth Town Hall on November 18th was a great success. More than 80 Massachusetts residents showed up and many provided well informed testimony to the state Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Thank you to everyone who attended! The public hearing was held by MassDEP in response to a request from local residents. The subject of the hearing was a license Entergy needs for the project under the Massachusetts Chapter 91 “Public Waterfront Act.” Read this Cape Cod Times article about the hearing: Opponents slam Entergy’s plan for backup cooling at Pilgrim →
UPDATE: On Feb. 20, 2015, MassDEP issued its decision to grant Pilgrim the waterways license. Stay tuned for more information and read other public comments about why the project is seriously flawed. The July 2014 Pilgrim Watch Report also describes flaws in this project.
The MassDEP hearing notice is here. In order to get the Chapter 91 license, Entergy has to show that it serves a “proper public purpose.” Entergy’s project does not qualify for a license.
Photos below courtesy of Christine Bostek, White Horse Beach, Plymouth MA showing storm damage along Taylor Ave. and Bert’s Restaurant about a mile from Pilgrim. Storm conditions like these or worse are when Entergy plans to deploy this inadequate safety fix. Wind was clocked at 93 m.p.h. on Feb. 9, 2013 at White Horse Beach. Will Entergy workers standing on the beach with a firehose pumping water prevent a meltdown in these conditions?
Other links and resources:
- Recipe for Disaster Cartoon →
- Nov. 11, 2011: Press Release from Pilgrim Coalition →
- July 2014: Comments submitted in July 2014 about this project →
- Nov. 18, 2014: Video of the hearing on →
- Jan 27-28, 2015: Pilgrim Watch Questions/Comments to NRC regarding Pilgrim FLEX plan and lessons learned from Winter Storm Juno →