Nukewatch Quarterly Spring 2015
PLYMOUTH, Massachusetts—The blizzard “Juno” forced Entergy Corp’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station to shut down on January 27, and a coalition of local citizens’ groups are asking the NRC to keep it closed. The facility lost off site power during the snow storm, which required it to switch to diesel-powered back-up generators. The severe weather also caused a problem in the switch yard, meaning the power station was unable to send electricity back to the grid.
Pilgrim has experienced similar problems during past storms, which Entergy has not adequately addressed, according to the groups asking for the long-term shutdown: Pilgrim Coalition, Cape Downwinders, Cape Cod Bay Watch and Concerned Neighbors of Plymouth. Citizens called for a proactive shutdown on Jan. 26, when the storm began, citing the fact that an evacuation of the area around the troubled reactor site would be impossible in blizzard conditions. The same day, the NRC itself issued a report stating that Pilgrim had “not provided the assurance level to fully meet all of the inspection objectives and [the NRC] correspondingly determined that Pilgrim will remain in the Degraded Cornerstone of the Action Matrix,” meaning that the reactor operator had failed to correct serious problems identified at the facility one year earlier.
—Pilgrim Coalition, Feb. 3, 2015