Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Representatives from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission met with Selectmen Tuesday night to discuss Entergy's proposal to construct a dry cask storage facility onsite, but also handled questions on the 41-year-old plant's safety.
Representatives from the NRC were met with skepticism from both the audience and the Board of Selectmen Tuesday night. The NRC presented Entergy's plans for building a dry cask storage facility. The facility would eventually house some of the aproximately 3,000 spent fuel rods now in the pool at the Pilgrim plant. Three of the dry cask storage towers are scheduled to be built and loaded with spent fuel by the summer of 2014. Selectman Ken Tavares told the NRC he found the idea of storing the fuel rods alarming. "How safe are they? I'm not convinced they are." Chairman Matt Muratore made an unusual request to the NRC for the 104 communities that host nuclear power plants. "I've asked the NRC to actually have a public forum down in …
Monday, April 1, 2013
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a public session Tuesday to discuss Pilgrim's performance in 2012 and then to discuss Entergy's plans to construct dry cask storage onsite with the Board of Selectmen.
Monday, April 1
The NRC will hold a public hearing to discuss the agency’s annual assessment of safety performance at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. The informational session will be held on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in the Mayflower Room at Plymouth Town Hall. Attendees will have an opportunity to hold one-on-one discussions with NRC staff members about the plant’s 2012 performance and the agency’s oversight of the facility. Amongst the NRC staff on hand will be the inspectors assigned to the plant on a full-time basis and their supervisor. Immediately following the informational forum, NRC staff will brief the Board of Selectmen on the plans for a dry cask storage facility for spent nuclear fuel at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, as …
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Bill Keating and two other members of Massachusetts' congressional delegation say the NRC's plan to have meetings with small groups of citizens instead of public hearings to handle questions about nuclear power and safety.
Three members of Massachusetts congressional delegation are asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to use a more typical public meeting style when discussing the future of the Pilgrim and Seabrook nuclear power plants, according to an Associated Press story. U.S. Reps. William Keating, Edward Markey, and John Tierney say they oppose plans by the NRC to only allow small group or one-on-one discussions with citizens and other concerned groups – with answers only shared with those participating in the smaller group discussions. The three Democrats say the NRC should go back to a more traditional public meeting style where citizens can ask questions and receive answers at an open microphone so all those attending the hearing can hear. The …
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Entergy has submitted applications to build dry cask storage units at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station
Entergy, the owner of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, has submitted applications to build dry cask storage units, also called "Interim Spent Fuel Storage Installations" and the Board of Selectmen wants to know what role town and state officials have in the process. Town Manager Melissa Arrighi has asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to answer questions regarding the building application and the zoning permit application submitted by Entergy to the town in January and March. Selectmen are concerned about potential hazards of the installation, particularly during unusual events or accidents such as earthquakes or floods. The board also wants information regarding the nature of safety reviews, structural considerations, as well as how safe…
Saturday, March 2, 2013
The NRC expects to take a reduction of $52 million in FY2013 because of sequestration.
Saturday, March 2
By Jim Dyer Chief Financial Officer, NRC The NRC today sent a Regulatory Issue Summary to its licensees, including Entergy, Agreement States, and other stakeholders outlining the impact of sequestration on agency activities. The summary can be found here. Basically, the document says that the NRC expects to take a reduction of $52 million in FY2013 because of sequestration, with cuts scheduled to begin taking place today. It also says that while the cuts are challenging, we will manage them in a way that will not negatively affect our ability to carry out our core mission of public health and safety. Specific program delays or deferrals that would take place will be communicated to the affected NRC licensees, applicants or other …
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Attorney General Martha Coakley "considering our options" after federal Appeals Court turns down Massachusetts' appeal of Pilgrim's license renewal process.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said she is reviewing her options after a federal Appeals Court turned down the state’s appeal of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station’s license renewal process, the Associated Press is reporting. Coakley had argued the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision last year to extend the Plymouth facility’s license for 20 years didn’t sufficiently consider the implications of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant accident in Japan after a major earthquake and tsunami. Monday, the 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals said the NRC had studied and addressed the issues raised by the Fukushima accident in its rules for US nuclear plants, including those which, like Pilgrim, have a similar design. The court noted the…
Friday, February 8, 2013
New England states and other parts of the Northeast are battening down the hatches in anticipation of a winter storm dubbed “Nemo” by the Weather Channel.
Friday, February 8
By Neil Sheehan Public Affairs Officer Region I, Nuclear Regulatory Commission Unlike “Finding Nemo,” the 2003 hit movie from Disney featuring a clown fish dad roaming the seas in search of his wayward son, those in the storm’s path won’t have to look far to see its impacts. Indeed, forecasts are calling for blizzard conditions and upwards of two feet of snow in the Boston area. As with other significant storms, nuclear power plants that could be affected will be required to make preparations. These are actions such as ensuring that fuel oil tanks are adequately filled; that there are no materials on plant grounds that could become airborne missiles amid high winds; and that water-tight doors and other openings are properly closed in the …
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Another Pilgrim Watch request for a hearing was denied by the NRC this week, unholding a ruling made last July by an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board that denied a Pilgrim Watch hearing on two post-Fukushima orders issued by the agency.
Thursday, January 31
According to a release from NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan, one of the orders Pilgrim Watch sought to challenge deals with reliable hardened vents at Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) Mark I and II plants. Pilgrim is a BWR Mark I facility. The other requires enhanced spent fuel pool instrumentation. Both orders were issued in March 2012. Oral arguments on the hearing request were conducted by the ASLB panel last year in Boston. The Commission, in upholding the ASLB panel, points to a 1983 decision that found a party can challenge an order on the basis that its implementation would diminish plant safety but not to argue that the order is in need of improvements. (The full decision is attached) The first challenged Order requires certain licensees of …
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Pilgrim Station returned to service this morning after being shutdown Monday to investigate a leaky valve.
Pilgrim Nuclear Station operators returned the plant to service Wednesday at 11:21 a.m. when it was reconnected to the New England electric transmission grid, according to a release from Entergy, the plant's owner. The plant was manually shut down Monday to investigate a minor leak associated with a pilot valve on one of the plant’s four safety relief valves. It was the second time in less than two weeks that the plant was shut down. The plant was manually shut down Jan. 10 after recirculation pumps stopped operating; it was up and running again Jan. 16. Plant technicians replaced the pilot valve and operators began the process of restarting Pilgrim Station early Wednesday. According to a story by the Cape Cod Times, this is the sixth …
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
They are dressed in camouflage, fit and well-trained, and they creep quietly toward the perimeter of a nuclear power plant under cover of darkness. Their realistic weapons reflect dully in the moonlight, but these weapons fire blank ammunition and lasers
Wednesday, January 16
Clay Johnson Chief, Security Performance Evaluation Branch, NRC Their goal? A particular target set within the plant which, if compromised, could impact the safety of the plant and the community that surrounds it. The target set this night? A closely guarded secret known only to the “armed intruders” and the NRC inspection team that includes active duty military members from the U.S. Special Operations Command. The attacks will be repeated over the course of three days and nights so that different attack methods and various targets at each nuclear power plant are tested. In each scenario, the plant’s security personnel work to protect specific areas of the plant according to their facility’s individual security plan. Each plant is …