Pilgrim Shuts Down During Blizzard

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station experienced an automatic shutdown at 9:18 p.m. due to a loss of off-site power.

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station experienced an automatic shutdown at 9:18 p.m. due to a loss of off-site power, WBZ Channel 4 is reporting. We'll have more on the shutdown.

Prior to the storm, local environmental groups asked the NRC to require the plant to shut down, according to Plymouth Daily News.

Karen Vale of Cape Cod Bay Watch and Pine DuBois of the Jones River Landing Association say that Local groups have asked the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to order Entergy Corporation, Pilgrim's operator, to take the reactor offline during the storm to prevent an unacceptable risk to the public and the environment. This storm differs from Hurricane Sandy because it is hitting Plymouth during high tide, not low tide, and will be accompanied by heavy snow and ice.

According to WBZ's Twitter feed, @cbsboston, the plant declared an Unusual Event, the lowest of the four levels of emergency classification at about 10 p.m., and the NRC is monitoring the reactor cooldown and efforts to restore off-site power.


WBZ Boston News ‏@cbsboston

NRC: The Pilgrim nuclear power plant experienced an automatic shutdown at 9:18 p.m. due to a loss of off-site power. - @PeterWBZ

47m WBZ Boston News ‏@cbsboston

NRC: The plant subsequently declared an Unusual Event -- the lowest of four levels of emergency classification -- at about 10... - @PeterWBZ

47m WBZ Boston News ‏@cbsboston
NRC: We will be monitoring the cooldown of the reactor and efforts to restore off-site power. - @PeterWBZ

BB February 09, 2013 at 06:57 AM
In Japan, the GE designed power plant's emergency shut down and loss of outside power caused the power plant's spent fuel rods (nuclear waste) to over heat. Maybe homeland security should investigate why a US nuclear power plant spent fuel ponds can be disrupted by a snow storm and downed outside power lines.
WM February 09, 2013 at 08:00 AM
Q. How many times can you shutdown and restart a nuke safely? A. Until it explodes. Restarts create irreversible damage (embrittlement) on the metal and materials of the pressurized components and equipment at nuke plant. Pilgrim seems to be shutting down all the time these days. No surprise, its tired, its 40 years old, the underground pipes have failed and are leaking tritium into the ground water, no one what to do with the nuclear waste, the NRC's chairman (Jaczko) disapproved of the relicensing efforts and was forced out of office, etc., etc. and the fix is in. The NRC and Entergy (parent Co.) are gambling with your safety to milk as much money as possible from the old cash cow before it expires (and blows up in your faces).
Steve R. February 09, 2013 at 11:54 AM
You have no clue what your are talking about! Don't make statements unless you are well educated in nuclear reactor operations. I am in the Navy and have served on nuclear power submarines.....so here is the deal: 1. There is absolutely no tritium in a nuclear reactor. That is used for weapons. 2. As long as there is no integrity breach on the reactor and it maintains pressure, the piping and metal will not be brittle. There are numerous safety design features built in to prevent explosions and meltdowns. The reactor can be brought up and down limitless times. It is designed this way to protect the core. As long as integrity is maintained and it is cooled, there are no issues. You people need to get educated before throwing comments out here!!
Jan T. February 09, 2013 at 02:54 PM
I don't know much about the nuclear industry, but the meltdowns at Fukushima, Japan, have shown the unexpected dangers that can evolve at a nuclear power plant during a natural Earth event. Can the potential for danger be avoided by using a planned shut down at nuclear plants prior to forecasted severe weather events? Just wondering?
WM February 09, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Response to Steve R's credibility challenge.....Just Google: 1. "Pilgrim Tritium" 2. "Nuclear embrittlement"
Steve R. February 10, 2013 at 03:09 PM
To Jan T, yes planned shutdowns would be effective at prevent catastrophic failures of the plant. It would put in the safest condition during any event. In Japan they did not have much warning.
Steve R. February 10, 2013 at 03:13 PM
To WM, only heavy water reactors have tritium specifically for the use of creating by products for nuke weapons. Pilgrim is not a heavy water reactor. As for the nuclear brittlement issue , that is speculation. You can't always believe Google.
KV February 10, 2013 at 03:58 PM
In a June 2012 report concerning tritium in groundwater monitoring wells near Pilgrim, the MA Department of Public Health states, “Because the data continue to show tritium concentrations above typical background (MW205 and MW206 in particular) they indicate the presence of an ongoing tritium source (or sources) yet to be definitively identified as discussed in previous reports.”
HALBRIO February 10, 2013 at 04:13 PM
I Believe the plant is very safe. The men and women operating the systems are experts. No worries
power2thepeople February 11, 2013 at 03:18 AM
amen halbrio
Theodore Bosen February 11, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Steve R: It is that "holier than thou" attitude that is the problem that creates Fukushimas. I can assure you that many of us have been studying this plant and its design longer than you have been in the navy nuclear program. That branch of the service has actually yielded the strongest critics of plants like Pilgrim. You, however, have not even bothered to read the local news in the last two years if you think there is no tritium in these mark-i's as it has been monitored and reported by the licensee at both Pilgrim and Yankee. Come back after you do some homework and maybe we can have an informed discussion! Theodore Bosen
joe legion February 11, 2013 at 05:02 PM
Fukushima accident happened because the emergency diesel generators were submerged by the 40 foot tsunami plain and simple.
Steve R. February 11, 2013 at 10:43 PM
Theodore, I have looked at the reports and the bottom line is that if there were a leak you would have much higher readings than just above background. So, where do you get your info about the navy nuclear propulsion program having the biggest critics of Pilgrim? The same people that supervise navy plants supervise civilian plants too. They all work for the NRC/ DOE. Additionally, you can't always believe what you read in the media or online. People have a tendecy to spin reports if they don't agree with nuclear power. Whether you like it or not, if the plant was unsafe, it would be shut down immediately. I just know about nuclear power and have worked with it... Can you say the same??
Steve R. February 11, 2013 at 10:46 PM
I agree Joe! That is what actually happened. My Naval Reactor buddies were actually there at the site. Hard to over come a natural disaster unless you are God!
power2thepeople February 11, 2013 at 11:30 PM
amen steve R. ... joe legion you are the smartest guy alive lol I want to be just like you some day lol


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