Citizen Groups Spotlight Unlawful Construction of a Nuclear Waste Storage Facility at Entergy Corp’s Pilgrim Station
Additional concerns focus on the lack of oversight by local and federal authorities and possible improper use of public funds
PLYMOUTH, MA – Local citizen advocacy organizations Pilgrim Coalition, Pilgrim Watch and EcoLaw announced today that they have called upon the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to immediately enforce its own regulations regarding the construction of a nuclear waste storage facility at Entergy Corporation’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant.
“Entergy is currently building a retaining wall, a road and moving sewage lines for this nuclear waste storage facility without adhering to NRC regulations,” said Meg Sheehan of EcoLaw. “It is outrageous that Entergy is continuing this construction without the appropriate state, federal and local oversight or permits.”
In December, after aerial photographs secured by the citizen groups exposed this project already under construction, it was determined by the Plymouth Town officials that Entergy did not have the proper notifications or zoning permits in place required to build this projected $120 million project. The town has since permitted only building the roadway. The groups are challenging Entergy’s attempt to get the project permitted on piecemeal basis. They say this is grossly inadequate, especially considering this construction site is in a coastal flood zone and also subject to local wetland laws. “Entergy is building a nuclear waste storage facility in a coastal flood zone without any of the proper approvals,” Sheehan said. “Storm and flooding damage are critical construction and permitting issues to this particular site and it appears these issues are being ignored by the authorities that are supposed to be protecting the safety and health of the public and the environment.”
Earlier this month, Pilgrim had an emergency shutdown during the historic winter storm Nemo due to loss of offsite power.
The groups have sent a letter to the NRC insisting that it administer and enforce its own laws regarding this nuclear waste construction site. In a separate letter, the public interest advocacy group EcoLaw has also asked the Town of Plymouth to require Entergy to obtain a special zoning permit as well as conservation commission approval.
A second letter was also issued to the NRC from the Pilgrim Coalition and EcoLaw seeking an accounting of the public funds Entergy is using to build this facility. “Entergy may be improperly tapping into a public decommissioning fund for these construction activities,” Sheehan said. “These funds are intended for the closure and decommissioning of nuclear plants not to promote the production and storage of nuclear waste from an active plant.”