Will The Lights Stay On If Pilgrim is Not Re-licensed?
At the Massachusetts State House Hearing on April 6, 2011, called in response to the Fukushima accident and its implications for the Commonwealth, ISO New England testified. The video is accessible here (ISO’s presentation is from 121.50-145): Joint Hearing on Nuclear Emergency Preparedness
Beginning at 138.56 on the video, Senator Downing, on behalf of Senator Wolf, asked ISO what the effect on the grid would be if Pilgrim were not relicensed – in other words, would the lights stay on? Mr. Roark, ISO, replied that we would have other sources to make up power that would be lost if Pilgrim shut down.
Mr. Roark opined that there may be a need for transmission upgrades in the area; however he noted that ISO was working on transmission upgrades to Cape Cod that would be ready in a few years and would likely have spillover effect to Pilgrim’s geographic area. Transmission upgrades go through three stages- study, citing and construction.
Simple observation shows that the lights stay on when Pilgrim shuts down for about a month or so to refuel every 2 years or is forced to shut down in the interim for repairs.