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"Increased investment in nuclear power means decreased investment in cleaner solar power.  We can have a nuclear future or we can have a solar future: we can't have both.  And a solar future is cleaner, cheaper and safer." 

- Michael Mariotte, Greenworld, June 3, 2015
Second Pilgrim employee fails fitness-for-duty test   by Cape Cod Today - August 4, 2015
A second Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant employee failed a recent fitness-for-duty test. According to a release from Entergy, the company that owns the Plymouth nuclear plant, the unidentified employee, who is in a supervisory position at the facility, failed the test drug/alcohol test on Friday.

Thanks go to the
Duxbury Town Selectmen!
More protection from Pilgrim power plant  by Susanna Sheehan, 
The Duxbury Clipper - July 29, 2015
Duxbury's top officials are backing four legislative bills up for consideration at the State House this week that would provide residents with better protection from the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth.

The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to sup port all four bills: two would provide more funding to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to pay for its monitoring programs and its emergency planning expenses and the two other bills would increase the radiological emergency planning zone around Pilgrim from its current ten-mile radius.

The Duxbury Nuclear Advisory Committee traveled to the State House Tuesday to give testimony on the four bills. On Monday at the selectmen's meeting, committee co-chair Mary "Pixie" Lampert said all four bills would be beneficial. "The four bills are definitely in the best interest of the Town of Duxbury," she said. House bill 1899 would raise the amount of money that Pilgrim's owner, Entergy, pays the Department of Public Health to oversee the nuclear plant from a maximum of $180,000 to no less than $400,000 per nuclear facility. Lampert said the department is currently being "short-changed."

"It addresses the fact that the MDPH has insufficient funds to be able to perform its legislatively-required monitoring and surveillance obligations in communities likely to be affected by emissions from Pilgrim, Vermont Yankee and Seabrook," wrote Lampert and co-chair Rebecca Chin in a memo to selectmen. "These monitoring responsibilities are important so that Massachusetts citizens are assured that their health and safety are protected from the potential harmful effects of ionizing radiation from daily operations and in the event of an accident."

Lampert said that the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission has found offsite environmental monitoring of regional nuclear power plants to be inadequate. The public health department's budget for monitoring the nuclear plants has been cut "year after year," she said, but Entergy can well afford to pay the state more.

"They definitely need the money and $400,000 for a licensee is peanuts when they're making close to $12 billion," said Lampert.

Entergy reported revenues of $10.3 billion from Pilgrim and Yankee in 2013 and is expected to post $11.5 billion in revenues for 2014, according to Lampert's memo.

The second bill is House 2030. This would provide more money to the MDPH for its real-time air monitoring system. It seeks no less than $400,000 per reactor for both Pilgrim and Seabrook to cover the costs of purchasing, installing and maintaining real-time air monitoring stations in communities affected by Pilgrim and Seabrook.

"We deserve to know what's being emitted on a daily basis," Lampert said, adding that the MDPH's current system of twelve air monitors around Pilgrim is limited and too close to the reactor - only a half mile to a mile and a half around the power plant. There are no monitors near Seabrook.

Duxbury paid $18,000 for its own air monitor last year, which is located at Mattakeesett Court.

"It's like a neighborhood watch. It will keep the licensee on its toes," said Lampert.

The two other bills would increase the radiological emergency planning zone from its current ten-mile radius. House 1898 would make it a 20-mile radius and House 2031 would make it a 50-miles radius. This larger planning zone would provide more emergency planning protections - including monitoring and stockpiling potassium iodide - for more people, who would then be evacuated if there was a nuclear accident. The 50-mile radius would include towns in Barnstable, Dukes, Nantucket counties and Cape Anne in Essex County.

All four bills are backed by 12th Plymouth district Representative Tom Calter. 6th Plymouth district representative Josh Cutler supports three of the four. He chose to back the bill seeking the 50-mile radius expansion instead of the 20-mile one.

"It addresses the fact that the MDPH has insufficient funds to be able to perform its legislatively required monitoring and surveillance obligations in communities likely to be affected by emissions from Pilgrim, Vermont Yankee and Seabrook," wrote Lampert and co-chair Rebecca Chin in a memo to selectmen.
Michael Dukakis leads 3-day protest against Pilgrim power plant, continues 30-year fight 
by the Boston Metro newspaper - June 17, 2015

A large group of activists marched from Plymouth to Boston over the course of three days, calling on the state to revoke Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant's license on Tuesday.

The plant, they say, is too dangerous to remain operational.

"It is impossible to make federal regulations for an evacuation plan in the areas that would be most impacted by a reactor meltdown," Former Governor Mike Dukakis said. "At a time when we are trying to adopt alternative energy plans, there are lots of alternatives to archaic facilities that put the public at risk."

Dukakis started fighting the radiology emergency plans form both Pilgrim and Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant in Seabrook, New Hampshire, in the 1980s. During the shutdown of Pilgrim from 1986 to 1988. Dukakis butted heads with the NRC and opposed the emergency plans which he and his administration said would not protect the public in the event of a core meltdown. Senator Dan Wolf of Harwhich and the co-chair of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development said he was inspired by these efforts then and hope to further them now.

"This plant has been operating for 43 years on a 40-year life, and is licensed for 60 years," Wolf said. "To be using 1960s technology in 2015 is a failure on multiple levels." In 2014, the Nuclear Regulatory Committee ranked Pilgrim in the nine worst performing nuclear power plants in the country when weighing in maintenance activities, spent fuel storage, safety and other risk factors.

Water pollution documented in new Pilgrim Nuclear report   
by Meg Sheehan and Karen Vale - July 9, 2015
A new report, titled Entergy, Our Bay is Not Your Dump, calls for an end to the pollution of Cape Cod Bay by Entergy's Pilgrim Nuclear Station in Plymouth. Based on a thorough review of thousands of pages of Entergy documents and internal records from the U.S. EPA and the state Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), the report details pollution and marine destruction caused by Pilgrim's outdated "once-through" cooling water system. 

For years, groups have been calling on regulators to require Entergy to upgrade the system and end the harm to the bay and its ecosystems. Now they have backed up the request with pages of information from state, federal and industry resources.

Since 1972, Pilgrim has been using Cape Cod Bay as a source of free cooling water for its operations. Entergy's use of the bay is supposed to be strictly regulated under a Clean Water Act permit. Pilgrim's permit expired in 1996, and regulators say they are too busy to renew it. The permit allows Entergy to use cooling water technology that is unchanged from the 1970s, when Pilgrim first went online.

Entergy pumps in up to 510 million gallons of water from Cape Cod Bay for cooling purposes each day. The process draws in tens of millions of fish and shellfish and billions of planktonic organisms each year. Entergy dumps the used water - heated and contaminated - back into the bay. Using the once-through cooling system is also inefficient: two-thirds of the thermal energy produced by Pilgrim is dumped back into the bay as waste heat instead of being turned into useful electricity.

The report identifies laws that are supposed to be protecting Cape Cod Bay, such as the Clean Water Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Act, and endangered-species laws, and describes how these laws are being ignored by regulators and Entergy.

Good news!
The Obama Administration recently unveiled 
it's new version of the Clean Power Plan, 
and it doesn't include nuclear
Here is a quick synopsis of what the rule actually does with respect to nuclear power 
(from Daily Kos, August 6, 2015):

1. Not only are nuclear reactors under construction not counted on in setting emissions goals, but neither are existing nuclear plants. By the same token, relicensing nuclear reactors won't count either.

2. Just as significantly, EPA recognized that there is no need to "preserve" nuclear reactors that are "at risk" of closure, because they can be replaced with renewables just as fossil fuels can.

3. EPA will only allow actual, new/increased nuclear generation to count toward complying with the emissions goals. That means, states can only count new reactors that actually operate before 2030 (the five in construction or any others) and power uprates of existing reactors toward meeting their emissions goals.

4. That means there is no incentive under the CPP to keep uneconomical reactors operating and no incentive to complete building new reactors. States can meet their goal with new nuclear (but not with existing nuclear), but they are given no justification for preferring nuclear over renewables. In fact, there are several statements in the rule that indicate just the opposite.

5. And only those new/additional amounts of nuclear can qualify to sell emissions offset credits in cap-and-trade programs. Existing reactors cannot qualify as emissions offsets for fossil fuel generation, because they do not actually reduce carbon emissions.

6. The CPP does not prevent states from creating subsidies for nuclear, but there is absolutely no incentive for them to do so.

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About the Pilgrim Coalition...
We are a non-partisan network of citizens and organizations dedicated to raising awareness of - and reducing - significant risks to public safety, health and our environment arising from the continued operation of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, located in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

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