Senator Dan Wolf
Massachusetts Cape & Islands District
The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station

 

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

 

MASSACHUSETTS SENATE

 

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133-1053

 

 

SENATOR DANIEL A. WOLF

CAPE & ISLANDS DISTRICT

STATE HOUSE, ROOM 511b

TEL. (617) 722-1570

FAX (617) 722-1271

________

 

 

 

COMMITTEES:

LABOR & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT (CHAIR)

MUNICIPALITIES & REGIONAL GOVERNMENT (VICE-CHAIR)

ENVIRONMENT, NATURAL RESOURCES & AGRICULTURE

HEALTH CARE FINANCING

PUBLIC SERVICE

TOURISM, ARTS & CULTURE

VETERANS & FEDERAL AFFAIRS

SPECIAL JOINT COMMITTEE ON RE-DISTRICTING

 

 

 

       

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      Contact:

Date:   May 29, 2012                                                                           Seth Rolbein 508-367-6044

 

Senator Wolf: Re-licensing Pilgrim ignores serious safety issues

 

The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station should not have been re-licensed for another 20 years, and the Massachusetts Attorney General should continue vigorous legal efforts to force the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to consider all safety issues, says Cape and Islands State Senator Dan Wolf (D-Harwich). 

“Our communities, downwind and with unique geographic challenges, have never seen a credible evacuation plan in the event of a catastrophe in Plymouth,” said Wolf. “We must now conclude that there is no such thing.”

In addition, Wolf noted, “we know that spent radioactive fuel rods are being stored in a pool of water atop the reactor that was not designed to hold this many rods for this long. We must now conclude that this is a serious safety issue that won’t go away.”

Lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster are still emerging, Wolf continued, and were not considered prior to allowing Pilgrim, now 40 years old, to continue for another two decades. “This is irresponsible, and irrational,” he added.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s responsibility is for public safety, not the profits of Entergy, the company that owns and runs Pilgrim, said Wolf. “To shortcut what has been a long, complicated review process, and re-license Pilgrim before that process is complete, sets a terrible precedent and is not in the public interest, even if it benefits the company and its shareholders.”

The Commission’s vote to re-license was 3-1, with former Chairman Gregory Jaczko dissenting and one commissioner not voting. The ruling was released on Friday before the Memorial Day weekend. Chairman Jaczko resigned earlier in the week.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley already has moved in federal court to challenge the NRC’s contention that information emerging from the Fukushima disaster in Japan should not be part of Pilgrim’s re-licensing hearings, which had been closed before the accident. The Attorney General’s appeal is pending.

The Fukushima and Pilgrim reactors are the same design and age.

“The public has every right to expect consensus and a unanimous vote in such an important matter,” added Wolf. “Former Chairman Jaczko’s well-reasoned concerns should have been addressed; his resignation is a serious loss.”