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In This Issue
Nuclear Facilities at Risk
Hurricane Sandy: A Wake-up Call
Thanksgiving Day Parade
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State regulators are not protecting Cape Cod Bay from Entergy's destructive operations at Pilgrim. Our environmental laws should be enforced so that Entergy's operations don't continue to destroy marine life in the bay. 
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Cape Cod Bay Watch is dedicated to protecting the species, habitats, and health of Cape Cod Bay.
Nuclear Facilities at Risk
Nuclear power plant
Photo credit: NRC Flickr 3.0 CC

Nuclear power facilities are always located on the shore of a ocean, lake or river for easy access to large quantities of cooling water. For example, Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is located on Cape Cod Bay for this reason. Creating nuclear power generates a great deal of heat, which needs to be cooled with large volumes of water. The water prevents plutonium in the reactor from melting down. Pilgrim uses up to 510 million gallons of water from Cape Cod Bay daily in order to cool its reactor. Water is also used in spent fuel storage pools for cooling and to protect against radiation.


Given the fact that coastal areas are particularly vulnerable to variable precipitation, extreme weather events, storm surges, marine debris that can clog intake structures, and sea level rise, nuclear facilities are inherently unsafe because of their locations. There were 16 nuclear reactors in the direct path of Hurricane Sandy last week - mainly at risk of rising water levels and power outages. Both of these risks can disrupt cooling systems and lead to overheating, fires and/or radiation releases.


At least six nuclear stations were affected by Sandy. Oyster Creek Nuclear Station in New Jersey, the oldest facility in the U.S., declared a rare "emergency alert" due to power outages and equipment dangerously close to being submerged. Due to a rising tide and storm surges, the facility's water pump used to cool its spent fuel pool was a mere 6 inches shy of being submerged after water levels rose 6.5 ft. It also experienced a power outage that required the use of two backup diesel generators. This scenario could have easily happened at Pilgrim if storm surges had been higher in Massachusetts.


Read more about Oyster Creek's emergency alert >>

HURRICANE SANDY: "If There Was Ever a Wake-Up Call, This Is It"
Photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video_Flickr 3.0 CC
Photo credit:  
NASA Goddard Photo  
and Video Flickr 3.0 CC
Hurricane Sandy is a stark reminder of the serious consequences we face from climate change. According to a new study, warming sea surface temperatures in our oceans means North Atlantic storms will become larger and more intense. In a recent interview, climate change expert Bill McKibben discusses the connection between climate change and superstorm Sandy. He says that while global warming does not directly create hurricanes, we are creating conditions such as warming sea water and rising sea levels that only foster storms like Sandy and cause related storm surges to occur.  


More superstorms like Sandy are seemingly inevitable in the North Atlantic. Like the New Jersey nuclear facility that went on high alert during Hurricane Sandy due to its cooling system coming dangerously close to failing, Pilgrim faces the same risks during every storm that hits the east coast. Hurricane Sandy is not only a stark reminder of the consequences of climate change, but also of the inherently unsafe nature of nuclear power facilities located in coastal locations all over the world. 


Mayflower Replica in Plymouth, Mass.
Photo credit:    
RJCox Flickr

Stop by the Cape Cod Bay Watch office at 58C Main Street in Plymouth on November 17th between the hours of 9:30AM and 4:00PM - the day of the Plymouth Thanksgiving Day Parade. In conjunction with the Pilgrim Coalition, we will be providing information to passers-by and visitors interested in learning about problems associated with Pilgrim. 



Contact [email protected] for more information.


Click here to learn more >>

Cape Cod Bay Watch | 58C Main St. | Plymouth, MA 02360 | 508-746-9400 | [email protected]