Our 2014 Efforts
Our mission is to protect and restore Cape Cod Bay and all its resources.
1. STOP pollution and destruction of marine life caused by Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station
Surface Water Pollution and Destruction of Marine Life
Pilgrim uses an outdated, once-through cooling water system that uses up to 510 million gallons of water per day from Cape Cod Bay. The cooling system discharges large quantities of heated waste water back to the source, negatively impacting marine species and habitats. Pilgrim’s thermal pollution covers nearly 5 miles of the Bay. Pilgrim’s once-through cooling system also has direct impacts on marine life, killing billions of fish, shellfish and plankton every year. Pilgrim’s licence to operate this destructive cooling system has been expired for 18 years. Additionally, sodium nitrite (a corrosion inhibitor and additive to industrial greases) and tolytriazole (a corrosion inhibitor) have been leaking into the surface waters of Cape Cod Bay since Feb. 2014, with no plan in place to fix the leaks.
Pilgrim has been leaking radioactive tritium and other contaminants into the Plymouth-Carver Sole Source Aquifer, which supplies drinking water to many towns in the region. The source(s) of the tritium leaks have yet to be definitively identified. Entergy also discharges industrial pollutants into the ground from its on-site wastewater treatment plant. Groundwater reportedly flows toward Cape Cod Bay, meaning radioactive tritium and industrial waste are likely polluting the Bay as well.
Nuclear Waste Storage
Entergy is building a nuclear waste storage facility (called dry casks) at Pilgrim, within 150 feet from the shore of the Bay. Storing high level nuclear waste in a coastal zone, below a safe elevation (about 24’ above mean sea level) is a serious concern especially considering patterns of climate change such as sea level rise and increasingly intense storms. The dry casks could remain there indefinitely, making the town of Plymouth a de facto nuclear waste dump. As it currently stands, the nuclear waste storage facility is not being designed and built in the safest way possible – in terms of the environment, public health, and the economic well-being of the town. Entergy should be required to obtain special permit under Plymouth zoning laws, so that the Town can impose certain conditions on the project. Plymouth officials need to use their authority to ensure Pilgrim’s nuclear waste facility is designed, built and operated under the highest of standards. For example,
2. STOP pollution caused by Plymouth’s wastewater treatment plant
There have been chronic Clean Water Act permit violations by Plymouth’s wastewater treatment facility. CCBW has been closely monitoring this issue, and working to ensure the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is doing its job and that Veolia (operator of the treatment plant) and the Town of Plymouth are held accountable. The problems need to be fixed so that public safety, the ecological health of Plymouth and Cape Cod Bays, and the economic well-being of the Town are better safeguarded in the future.
Help Us with Our Mission!
Email or call your elected officials today. Tell them that regulators have failed to do their jobs with respect to Pilgrim’s operations; therefore the facility should be decommissioned immediately. Regulators have allowed Pilgrim to operate with a Clean Water Act Permit that has been expired for 18 years and with ongoing leaks of harmful pollutants into our groundwater and surface water. With sea level rise and stronger storms already impacting our shoreline, the risks of an accident at Pilgrim are only increasing. Enough is enough – close Pilgrim down and stop the destruction of Cape Cod Bay once and for all.
Find your legislators’ contact details here.