The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is so old and underdesigned that even its friendly regulator, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, says it has to upgrade. The NRC says Pilgrim isn’t equipped to handle a loss of electricity. If Pilgrim loses electricity –say in a Nor’easter – it can’t run the pumps to suck in sea water to cool the reactor and the nuclear waste in the spent fuel pool. The result? A fire and massive radiological contamination over a 100-mile area.
So, what is Entergy’s response? Pull a pipe into Cape Cod Bay anchored to buoys, ask employees to quickly connect the pipe likely during a severe storm, pull the Kabota tractor (with generator) out of the shed (see pic below), and drive it to the high tide line to connect the fire hose, kick start the generator to run pumps that pull in sea water. If the consequences of a meltdown weren’t so horrifying, this would actually be funny. In order to rig up this contraption on the beach, Entergy needs a license under the state Waterways Law from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). We think the license should be denied by DEP. Entergy should come up with a better solution than this.
Learn more and read the public comments submitted to DEP about Entergy’s application here.
Read the July “Of Nuclear Interest” article about this issue here.