Beginning this Thursday (Jan. 2) and continuing into Friday, a winter storm and simultaneous astronomical high tides are predicted to affect the Massachusetts coast. Blizzard conditions, high winds, and coastal flooding are expected. According to NOAA’s Hourly Weather Forecast Graph (as of Dec. 30th), winds could occur at speeds of 13-18 MPH, with gusts up to 37 MPH (E, N, and NE directions), and about 8″ of snow could fall in the Plymouth area. In addition, according to NOAA’s 2014 Plymouth area tide chart the highest tides of the year will occur concurrently on Thursday (12.3 feet at 11:34 am) and Friday (12.4 feet at 12:25 pm).
This relatively moderate nor’easter and simultaneous astronomical high tides could be a valuable opportunity for Entergy and/or the NRC to assess the flooding potential at Pilgrim more accurately. This is particularly relevant considering Entergy is constructing a dry cask nuclear waste storage facility at Pilgrim, only about 100 feet from the shore of Cape Cod Bay. We recently asked the NRC to take advantage of the rare meteorological and oceanographic event this week by collecting observational notes and photo-documentation. Read our letter here.
Pilgrim Watch also contacted Entergy with a similar ask – to monitor conditions at the plant and provide the information publically. Entergy’s response was they they “don’t monitor the tides.” Then how can Entergy claim that Pilgrim is a “dry site” if they do not monitor the issue?