Another nuke bites the dust! Pilgrim is the 4th to close since the closure of Yankee …. only 97 more to go, folks. Safe & Green Campaign gives a big shout out to all the individuals and groups who worked for decades to bring this feeble nuke down — year after year Pilgrim was deemed one of the least safe in the US by the NRC. Congrats to Cape Downwinders, Pilgrim Watch, and Cape Cod Bay Watch. (Check out a full list at Pilgrim Coalition).
The 47 year old Pilgrim Nuclear Reactor shut down on Friday May 31 2019. Pilgrim was bought by Entergy (former owners of VT Yankee) in 1999. It was losing $40 million a year. Due to the good work of many activists, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would not prop it up with ratepayer fees.
Holtec is seeking to purchase Pilgrim from Entergy (lured, no doubt, by the decommissioning trust fund). Holtec’s casks are being used at VT Yankee & Pilgrim, despite controversy about their safety. In addition, Holtec has come under increased scrutiny for corruption charges in New Jersey: A False Answer, a Big Political Connection and $260 Million in Tax Breaks
Citizens groups are continuing the struggle. Like for Vt Yankee, this next stage includes a Citizens Decommissioning panel (NDCAP). Diane Turco of Cape Downwinders writes, “The Holtec house of cards is planning to buy Pilgrim but won’t answer questions of concern posed by the NDCAP. No transparency or honesty should equal no contract.” Pilgrim Watch has created a “Decommissioning Pilgrim Handbook” available here as a pdf slideshow.
Cape Downwinders established “a citizens radiation monitoring network with monitors in Plymouth, Sandwich, Dennis, Harwich, Truro, and Ptown. We will continue to monitor during decommissioning and fuel transfer.”
Here is a taste of recent media coverage on Pilgrim’s shut down: