The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) descended on Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth yesterday, marking the beginning of several weeks of intense inspections. A team of about 20 inspectors will be at Pilgrim up until Christmas, and then return in January to wrap up.

A group of protesters gathered at the Pilgrim gate yesterday to greet the NRC. They were there to let the agency know that the public is watching, and that they need to do their job and close Pilgrim now, not in 2019 when it is scheduled to begin decommissioning.

The NRC inspections come after Pilgrim’s downgrade by the NRC to one of the two worst performing nuclear power plants in the country. Its poor performance record comes largely from a series of unplanned shutdowns and mechanical failures over the past few years.

Many media outlets have covered the beginning of the NRC inspection, including Channel 5, the Cape Cod Times, the Boston Globe, and many more (see below).

According to Diane Turco, President of Cape Downwinders, it is “amazing that the NRC stated they haven’t shut a reactor after a special inspection. Their stated goal of these special inspections is to ‘arrest declining performance’. In 2014, Pilgrim was one of the nine worst operating reactors. NRC increased oversight. In 2105, Pilgrim was one of the 5 worst operating reactors. NRC increased oversight. In 2016, Pilgrim was one of the worst operating reactors. Guess what the NRC did. Increased oversight. This is such a documented dangerous downward trend. All they need to do is read their own reports.”

The result of the inspections will be revealed at a public meeting held by the NRC in spring 2017.