On November 17, 2015 at 1:00 PM, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy is holding a public hearing at the State House in Boston on two proposed bills that aim to protect the financial well-being of Massachusetts’ taxpayers from having to foot the bill for decommissioning activities (including cleanup) at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.

We posted an action alert earlier today concerning these bills: http://goo.gl/huFAO4

Senate Bill 1797, An Act Establishing a Fee on the Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel in Pools, creates a fee on the number of spent fuel rods stored in pools in order to encourage better storage practices. Wet storage in pools is intended as a short term means to cool and store nuclear waste, while dry cask storage is the established best management practice for more permanent and reliable storage. Senate Bill 1797 is an economic incentive for nuclear power plant operators to avoid the imposition of costly fees by using best management practices for storing spent fuel rods.

Senate Bill 1798, An Act Establishing Funding to Provide Moneys for Postclosure Activities at Nuclear Power Stations, requires nuclear power plant operators to pay an annual $25 million fee into a trust fund dedicated to the costs of cleanup after a nuclear plant ceases operation. The decommissioning funds currently allocated by the owner of Pilgrim Station are inadequate to cover the anticipated cost of shutting down the plant and cleaning up the site. Without a means of securing sufficient funds from the plant operator, paying for a complete cleanup of the site may be left to Massachusetts taxpayers.

We encourage anyone interested in these issues to attend the hearing. If you would like to provide a comment to the Committee, please contact info@capecodbaywatch for more information.

If you cannot attend the hearing, please check out the talking points in the action alert and email the Committee members.

Thank you!