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Nuclear Regulatory Commission keeping mum on the situation at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station

Flag-USALawmakers concerned with Nuclear Regulatory Commission by Amid a week-long shutdown of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, legislators from Plymouth say their greatest frustration is not with the plant’s latest closure but in trying to get the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission to be more forthcoming about the aging nuclear plant and problems identified by their own inspectors.

On Thursday, Dec. 15, after conducting scheduled testing at the plant, a Pilgrim operator found a “small main steam line leak” and the plant’s “operators made the conservative, best practice decision to shut down the plant and repair the leak,” Patrick O’Brien, a spokesman for the plant’s owner Entergy, said in an email.

The plant remained offline Wednesday, O’Brien said, as plant workers took “the time/opportunity to do maintenance that can’t be done otherwise when we are at full-power.” The steam line repairs have been completed, he said, and there was no threat to the safety of the plant’s staff or the public.

But Sen. Vinny deMacedo and Rep. Mathew Muratore, both Republicans from Plymouth, said they are more concerned about the NRC’s apparent unwillingness to answer questions raised after the Cape Cod Times and other media outlets obtained an internal NRC emaildocumenting safety concerns found at the plant during an NRC inspection earlier this month.

The email details problems such as “poor maintenance, poor engineering practices, and equipment reliability problems” at the plant, which can produce 680 megawatts of power using its boiling water reactor……..

a former Plymouth selectman, said the email contained “some alarming information” and the NRC has “not at all” done enough to allay the concerns the email brought to the forefront…….

Sen. Dan Wolf of Harwich told the News Service this month that the email “validates” concerns that he said should be taken seriously by those in authority.

“What is it going to take for this administration and for public safety officials in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to understand that this is the biggest public safety threat that the citizens of the Commonwealth face?” asked Wolf, a Democrat and possible candidate for governor in 2018.

Pilgrim opponents who favor its immediate shutdown have repeatedly called on Gov. Charlie Baker to recommend a shutdown. In turn, Baker has deferred to the federal government given its role as the chief regulator of the nuclear power industry.

December 26, 2016 - Posted by | general

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