On February 10, 2015 the Plymouth Board of Selectmen heard presentations from Concerned Neighbors of Pilgrim, Jones River Watershed Association (JRWA) and Pilgrim Watch. The topic was Entergy’s long term storage of lethal nuclear waste on the shores of Cape Cod Bay.

Concerned Neighbors of Pilgrim (CNP) reminded the Board that in 2014, 3,100 residents signed a petition asking the Board to use its authority to ensure that Entergy’s dry cask storage project is sited, designed, built, and operated in the safest manner and to make sure the Town is covered financially, and that in Spring 2014, the 82% of Plymouth voters asked them to take action. CNP’s representative stated, “we are unaware of any action the Board has taken since then.”

JRWA Executive Director Pine duBois asked the Board to support a request to Entergy for an new site plan to correct inaccuracies in elevations at the site. JRWA’s report says these inaccuracies mean it is impossible to tell how the nuclear waste storage facility and Pilgrim’s operations are affected by climate change.

Pilgrim Watch’s director Mary Lampert gave a thorough explanation of the problems with Entergy’s dry cask storage facility. Most importantly, Entergy has no plans to “thin the pool” to get all of the waste out of the pool as soon as possible. Pilgrim Watch described how a spent fuel fire would cause up to $488 billion in damages and 22,000 latent cancers.

Pilgrim Watch outlined specific things the Board can do in order to address residents’ concerns about the scale, duration and threats of Entergy nuclear waste storage. This includes levying a fee on wet pool storage as an incentive for Entergy to move the waste to dry cask.

Entergy spokesperson David Noyes confirmed that Entergy will have spent fuel in the wet pool when Pilgrim ends operations in 2032 at the end of its current NRC license. He said plans were being considered for a second concrete pad as part of the ISFSI for another 40 or so dry casks making a total of about 80 dry casks of nuclear waste. About 80 casks are needed to store all of Pilgrim’s nuclear waste.

At the close of the meeting, Selectmen Tavares and Provanzo declined to respond to the groups’ requests for action, saying instead it is the federal government’s responsibility. They indicated that the Town’s action would be limited to “lobbying” and meeting with the Governor.

Following the meeting, the groups commented that they will continue to press the Selectmen for action on the local level, believing that a solution is more likely there than in Washington, D.C.

View JRWA’s presentation →
View the Pilgrim Watch presentation →