By Matt Jahnke
Holtec International, the current owner tasked with decommissioning the Pilgrim nuclear reactor in Plymouth, Massachusetts, plans on dumping 1.1 million gallons of radioactive wastewater into Cape Cod Bay. The plan has met with fierce opposition from local activists, environmentalists, fishermen, and the restaurant and tourism industries. Furthermore, State Senators Susan Moran and Julian Cyr received unanimous approval from the State House and Senate for their proposed amendment — vetoed by Governor Charlie Baker on November 10 — to delay dumping for two years in order to form a commission to investigate potential economic and environmental impacts of the contaminated wastewater. Holtec appears poised to move ahead, maintaining it is legally allowed to do so, now with a clear signal from the governor that he will not stand in the way. Sen. Moran responded to the governor’s veto, saying, “At no time did anyone ever relay concerns with this important amendment. I am eager to press the administration for an explanation…. I will be refiling [the bill] at the earliest opportunity.” US Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and US Rep. Bill Keating have called on Holtec to respond to a June 17 letter from the Environmental Protection Agency reminding Holtec that any dumping in the bay would violate federal regulations and Holtec’s permits, and could result in civil, judicial, and administrative penalties.