Citizens Ask Governor to Ensure That All Safety and Environmental Concerns Are Resolved Before Pilgrim is Relicensed by the NRC
Groups Protest Recommendation to Approve Relicensing of Pilgrim Nuclear Reactor May 8th
A state-wide coalition of 14 different groups wants Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to ask the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to reject the NRC staff’s April 23rd request to approve relicensing of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth. The NRC staff recommended that NRC Commissioners approve the relicensing at their next meeting May 8, despite several outstanding challenges to the licensing process.
The groups say licensing the reactor for another 20 years as requested by Entergy, the facility’s owner, would be illegal and blatantly disregards Massachusetts citizens’ concerns about the aging reactor’s impact on their health, property values, natural resources, Cape Cod Bay, and public safety. They also say the recommendation flies in the face of the relicensing process.
“This is simply an outrage,” said Mary Lampert of Pilgrim Watch. “The NRC is doing Entergy’s bidding and trying to trample our rights to have our concerns heard in a full and fair process.”
Pine duBois, Executive Director of the Jones River Watershed Association, pointed to the fact that the facility sits directly on Cape Cod Bay and cycles 510 million gallons of its water through its reactor every day said, “Enough is enough. The scale of destruction of Cape Cod Bay and its resources by Entergy’s operations over the past 40 years is incalculable and we have a right to be fairly heard.”
And James McCaffrey, Director of the Massachusetts Sierra Club, said “It’s time for Massachusetts to move beyond dangerous, polluting and unsafe energy technologies in all forms. The clock ran out a long time ago for Pilgrim, and it should not be reset for this aged and unsafe facility. This maneuver by the NRC to relicense Pilgrim prior to the resolution of outstanding appeals is an affront to the citizens of the Commonwealth, the environment, and public health.”
Organizations signing the letter to Governor Patrick are: Massachusetts Sierra Club, Clean Water Action Alliance, Toxics Action Center, Pilgrim Watch, Jones River Watershed Association, Eel River Watershed Association, Neponset River Watershed Association, Pilgrim MUST, Cape Downwinders, Cape Codders for Peace and Justice, Pilgrim Coalition, Freeze Pilgrim, Mashpee Environmental Coalition, and EcoLaw.