We demand answers on the cumulative impacts of 40 years of Pilgrim spewing radioactive materials and toxic pollution into Cape Cod Bay!

Nowhere is there a credible, independent analysis of whether our shellfish, fish, and waters are safe. All that the NRC and state regulators are relying on is skewed data prepared by Entergy’s consultants. This data is biased and lacks credibility. The NRC’s environmental impact statement even admits there are no water quality data. The license approval is based on a few soil sediments – nothing that shows the full scope of what’s been happening there. Nowhere is there data showing “cumulative” impacts.

This is not acceptable!

In 1988, the U.S. Senate held a hearing on whether Pilgrim should reopen after the accident that spewed radiation over the entire region. The transcript is available here. The original is at the Boston Public Library – it is 875 pages. This report shows radioactive materials found in our food, fish and waters in 1988-and Entergy has continued to discharge radiation to our waters to this day!

DIRECT QUOTES from the hearing transcript:

The presence of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (PNPS)-related isotopes has been documented offsite in shellfish, ocean fish, algae, ocean floor sediment, and garden produce. In addition, PNPS-related isotopes are present in water samples from the discharge canal, and a single isotope, H-3 (Tritium), has been found in a nearby pond. Onsite locations that monitor for airborne radiation are positive for Co-60 (Cobalt).*

All of the reports reviewed by the Committee on Nuclear Matters (1982-1987) indicate to its members that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant does have a continuing environmental impact. In all of the materials reviewed, however, Boston Edison Company, the NRC, and the Commonwealth hold that offsite releases from the Plant (as indicated by current monitoring) have not exceeded technical specifications. Boston Edison Company, the NRC, and the Commonwealth then draw the conclusion that there has been no measurable impact upon the citizenry. They further claim that even if there had been any impact it would have been minimal, and far less than the effects of previous worldwide weapons testing or of the Chernobyl accident.

The Committee on Nuclear Matters takes little comfort in the above comparisons. Any environmental impact is of concern and needs to be examined if public health is to be protected. The Committee questions the adequacy of current monitoring around Pilgrim I, even though it may be more extensive than that at some other nuclear plants. Hence, the Committee recommends increased monitoring, higher quality monitoring, proper timing of monitoring to reveal effects of specific plant incidences which involve radioactive releases, and prompt reporting of the results. Accomplishment of these recommendations is basic to an investigation of the impact of PNPS upon citizens’ health.

A striped bass sample collected on 10/2/86 at the Discharge Canal Outfall Area indicated a positive measurement of Cs-137. Cesium (Cs-137), Cobalt (Co-60), and Tritium (H-3) have been present in discharge canal samples. H-3 has been found at Bartlett Pond. These isotopes, according to Boston Edison, are attributed to operation of PNPS.

Samples from the discharge canal have been positive for Mn-54, Zn-65, Co-60, Co-58, and C8-137. Samples from Manomet Point have been positive for Mn-54, Co-60, Cs-137, Zn-65. Testing for Co-60, Cs-137 has been positive in Warren Cove samples. According to Boston Edison, all of these isotopes are attributable to operation of PNPS.

Samples from the discharge canal have demonstrated Zn-65, Cs-137, Mn-54, Co-58 and Co-60. Algae from Manomet Point have demonstrated Mn-54 and Co-60. Ellisville has been positive for Mn-54 and Co-60.

According to Boston Edison, all of these isotopes are attributable to operation of PNPS. Gamma isotopic analyses are performed from four separate fish groups: bottom oriented, near bottom, anadromous, and coastal migratory. They are caught in the vicinity of the discharge canal as well as at a control point at a distance offshore. Analysis is quarterly for bottom and near bottom fish, in season for anadromous and coastal migratory. A control analysis from fish caught offshore is performed annually.

Bluefish and cod samples from the discharge canal have been positive for Cs-137. A salmon sample from the mouth of the North River in Hanover was positive for Cs-137. This isotope was attributed by Boston Edison as being due to radioactive releases— from PNPS.

Sediment samples are taken semi-annually at Rocky Point, Warren Cove, Plymouth Harbor, Duxbury Bay, Plymouth Beach, Manomet Point, and a control point in Marshfield. Analyses performed at Duxbury Bay, Plymouth Beach, Warren Cove, and Marshfield demonstrated Cs-137. This is attributed “….to some extent…” to the fission products related to fallout from previous weapons testing. Rocky Point, Manomet Point, Duxbury Bay have had positive values for Co-60 which Boston Edison attributes to operation of PNPS.

Terrestrial samples include milk, cranberries, vegetables, and beef forage or cattle feed.

Milk is collected from the cows at the Plymouth County Farm and Whitman Farm, semi-monthly when the animals are on pasture, otherwise at a monthly interval. Analyses for gamma isotopes, Sr-87, Sr-90, and 1-131 are performed.

The 1982 Report states that of the isotopes present, i.e., Sr-90, Sr-89, Cs-137, “,..PNPS-1 probably contributed much less than 0.01% of the measured concentration…” Most is attributed by Boston Edison to fallout from nuclear weapons testing.

Cranberries from a Manomet Point Bog (2.6 miles SE), Bartlett Road Bog (2.8 miles SSE/S), and Pine Street Bog (17 miles WNW) are analyzed for gamma isotopes at the time of harvest.

Cs-137 has been found at the Manomet Point Bog at a level greater than ten times average background for that isotope. A comprehensive study of cesium uptake in cranberries was performed during 1978. This report identified fallout from previous nuclear weapons testing as the primary source of cesium in cranberries.

Vegetable samples are collected at the Karbott Farm and Bridgewater Farm as well as other nearby gardens. Co-60 at farms 1.5 miles SSW and 1.0 miles W were attributed to controlled releases from PNPS. In addition, Cs-137 present in the sample at the farm 1.5 miles SSW was attributed to PNPS.

There have been positive measurements of Be-7, Co-60, Ru-103 and K-40 at the Discharge Canal. In addition, there have been positive measurements of Be-7, Co-60, Ru-103, 1-131, AcTh-228 and K-40 at Manomet Point (Station 15-3 miles-SE); and Be-7, Co-60, AcTh-228 and K-40 at the control station at Ellisville (Station 22-8 mi-SSE).

The measured concentrations of Co-60 at the Discharge Canal are certainly due to liquid effluents from PNPS-1. The observed concentrations of Co-60 at Manomet Point and Ellisville were the result of PNPS-1 liquid releases. The highest concentration of Co-60 was seen at the Discharge Canal.

It is clear that positive measurements of Co-60 and Cs-137 were observed. The highest concentration of Co-60 was observed in a sediment sample (24-26 cm) taken from Rocky Point (Station 11) on 5/19/86. In addition, Co-60 was observed in all of the sediment segments (0-30 cm) obtained from Rocky Point on 5/19/86 and in two sediment segments (16-20cm) from Duxbury Bay collected on 5/29/86. The concentrations of Co-60 at Rocky Point are due to liquid .affluents from PNPS-1 . The concentration of Cs-137 at the 24-26 cm level from Rocky Point was most likely due to controlled liquid releases from PNPS-1. The measured concentration of Be-7 , and to some extent Cs-137, at Duxbury Bay, Plymouth Harbor and Marshfield are attributable to the fission products related to fallout from previous weapons testing.

The positive measurements of 1-131 in the samples from week #19 through week #27 (late May until early July), and the positive measurements of Cs-134 and Cs-137 from week #21 through week #27 were attributable to Chernobyl-related radioactivity. There was only a small amount of strontium released during the Chernobyl accident which resulted in negligible Sr-89 and Sr-90 in the Chernobyl-related radioactivity.

The highest concentration of Sr-90 occurred at Plymouth County Farm (collected on 9/4/86) and the highest concentration of Sr-89 occurred at the Plymouth County Farm (collected on 6/19/86). However, there were no positive measurements made of either Sr-89 or Sr-90, there were only indications of the presence of Sr-90. It is unlikely that PNPS-1 is the major source of the indicator station activity.

Prior to week #21 and after week #27, the highest concentration of Cs-137 occurred at Plymouth County Farm (3.5 mi-W) in early September (Collected on 9/4/86). Edison claimed that the primary source of Cs-137 was other than PNPS-1, and was most likely due to fallout from previous atmospheric weapons testing.

The only manmade radionuclide detected was Cs-137, which appeared in the Manomet Point Bog sample (collected on 9/23/86). Claim was again made that the measured concentration was due to fallout from previous weapons testing and a lack of adequate potassium in the soil.

The only nuclides observed, other than naturally occurring Be-7, AcTh-228 (peak) and K-40, was Cs-137. A positive measurement of Cs-137 was detected in vegetation collected from two locations on 9/16/86.

Because of the absence of Cs-134 Edison again concluded that weapons testing fallout was the primary source of Cs-137.

The following positive measurements were detected at two stations: Be-7, Ru-103, Cs-134, Cs-137 and K-40. The beef forage samples were both collected on 6/19/86. Edison again concluded that the contribution of Ru-103, Cs-134, and Cs-137 were due to the Chernobyl accident.

In addition to the above data from the 1986 Report, some data from the Radioactive Effluent and Waste Report (January – June 1987) can be found on the following page.

These data are of interest in that they demonstrate continued releases of materials into Cape Cod Bay during periods of Plant shut-down. Plant decontamination accounts for increased numbers of batch releases. (The decrease in average stream flow in number 6 was due to the use of one pump rather than three.)