Nuclear

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Feds require new safety upgrades for Pilgrim Station and similar reactors

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station will have to improve the containment vents for its reactor under new rules issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The federal agency is requiring nuclear power plants, like Pilgrim, with Mark 1 or Mark II boiling water reactors to modify the reactor vents to be able to withstand severe accidents, including ones that damage the reactor core, according to the order issued Thursday. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Federal report calls for review of nuclear emergency plans

If you live within the 10-mile evacuation zone around Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, you probably know what you’re supposed to do in case of an emergency, but that’s not the case for those who live outside that area. That could lead to problems in case an evacuation is ordered. At least that’s what the General Accounting Office thinks. After the explosions at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan after the earthquake there, The GAO was asked by four United Senators to review emergency preparedness for commercial nuclear power plants here. two New England Senators, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, were among those asking for the review. Continue Reading →

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Pilgrim Station gets postponment of preparedness drill

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted Entergy’s request to delay a safety exercise at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station until March 2013. According to a document filed by the NRC, the exercise, which took place on November 7, was supposed to include federal, state and local officials. However,they were focused on dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and didn’t take part in the drill. Both the federal and state emergency management agencies agreed to the delay. Delaying the exercise, which should have been completed by the end of this year, will not make any changes to how it’s conducted, according to the NRC. Continue Reading →

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CURRENT QUESTION: No planes over Pilgrim?

Other than advising pilots to keep clear, there are no restrictions on flying over Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, a situation which concerns some people. Read more here. What do you think, are flights over Pilgrim OK?  

Last week’s poll

Other answers were Cape Cod Avenue and Bartlett Road Continue Reading →

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No (written) plans for dry storage at Pilgrim Station

During Monday night’s Nuclear Matters Committee meeting, attorney Margaret Sheehan requested the committee ask the Board of Selectmen for a copy of Entergy’s plans for moving spent fuel at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station into dry cask storage, as well as any plans filed with the Board of Zoning Appeals. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Entergy appoints new senior vice president to oversee Pilgrim, other area power plants

Entergy Corporation has named Mike Perito, site vice president at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station in Mississippi, has been named senior vice president, chief operating officer, with responsibility for FitzPatrick, Pilgrim and Vermont Yankee Nuclear Stations, effective February, 4, 2013. He will begin a transition at the first of the year with Kevin Bronson, who is retiring February. 28, 2013. Perito joined Entergy in 2008 as site vice president of River Bend and moved to his current role at Grand Gulf in 2011. Prior to Entergy, Perito was general manager at Palo Verde, a three-unit station operated by Arizona Public Service, and operations manager at Exelon’s Quad Cities. Continue Reading →

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Pilgrim workers ratify new contract with Entergy

The Utility Workers Union of America Local 369 has ratified a contract with Louisiana-based Entergy Corp. for tech workers at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant, according to a press release from the union. “We are pleased that we were able to negotiate a fair contract for the hard working men and women who keep this plant operating daily,” said UWUA Local 369 President Dan Hurley. According to information provided by the union, The contract for the 68 tech workers, who are responsible for duties that range from maintaining plant safety to managing information technology systems was set to expire on October 24, 2012, but was extended to November 14, 2012 to allow for a membership vote on November 1, 2012. UWUA has hundreds of local workers that serve in high-level roles at the 40-year-old nuclear power plant – many who have been working at the facility for decades. Continue Reading →

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Safety system at Pilgrim Station briefly out of commission

Both of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station’s standby gas treatment systems went out of service yesterday, according to a notification issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. During an emergency, the systems are supposed to pump air from the secondary containment system to the environment to help limit the amount of radioactive material released. According to the NRC notification, PNPS’ “b” standy gas treatment system was shut down for testing, but plant staff then found the  “A” system was having electrical problems, rendering it inoperable. “The inoperability of both SBGT System Trains ‘A’ and ‘B’ could have prevented the fulfillment of the safety functions to ‘control the release of radioactive material’ and ‘mitigate the consequences of an accident,” the notification stated. The “A” treatment system was returned to service an hour later. Continue Reading →

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UPDATED: Hurricane Sandy puts nuclear power plants on alert

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is not included in a list of Northeastern facilities receiving “enhanced oversight” due to Hurricane Sandy. Power plants between Maryland and Connecticut are included on that list. “Nuclear plants are robust structures,” Pilgrim spokeswoman Carol Wightman told The Patriot Ledger. “They’re designed to withstand hurricanes and tornados.” That wasn’t satisfactory to members of  Cape Cod Bay Watch, which which posted this message on Twitter:

#Massachusetts in State of Emergency due to #hurricane #Sandy but #Pilgrim #nuclear reactor still running; #NRC ignores this #Fukushima twin

— Cape Cod Bay Watch (@CapeCodBayWatch) October 29, 2012
 
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a press release Monday morning outlining storm preparations for power plants in the path of the hurricane. According to the release, inspectors are on site at all plants that could be affected by the storm. Continue Reading →

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Utility workers tech unit reaches tentative agreement with Entergy

The Utility Workers Union of America Local 369 announced today it has reached a tentative agreement with Louisiana-based Entergy Corp. on a contract for tech workers at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant, according to a press release from the union. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Lack of flight restrictions over nuclear power plant concerns committee (with video)

Paul Rifkin, a Cotuit resident and an opponent of the relicensing of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, recently took photographs of it from a helicopter. He told CapeNews.Net he was shocked that he recivred no warning, either from Pilgrim security or flight controllers, for his actions. He shouldn’t have been. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Maine quake felt in Manomet

[<a href=”http://storify.com/manometcurrent/plymouth-gets-the-shakes” target=”_blank”>View the story “Plymouth gets the shakes” on Storify</a>]<br /> <h1>Plymouth gets the shakes</h1> <h2>An earthquake in Southeastern Maine was felt all the way down to Plymouth, Tuesday night.</h2> <p>Storified by The Manomet Current &middot; Wed, Oct 17 2012 06:29:31</p> <div>At 7:12 p.m. this evening a 4.5 earthquake occured, with its epicenter just north of Waterboro, in Southern Maine.4.5 earthquake hits 100 miles north of Plymouth – Plymouth, MA – Wicked Local Plymouth</div> <div>The official&nbsp;magnitude&nbsp;was later downgraded by the United States Geological Survey.</div> <div>The USGS has updated the their report on the earthquake in Maine. Magnitude now a 4.0. http://ow.ly/ex7nyNWS Boston</div> <div>WATD-FM Managing Editor Christine James and Reporter Steven Dodrill were in the station’s newsroom and describe the events as a shaking or tremor that lasted no more than a minute.Breaking News: Earthquake felt in Southeastern Massachusetts</div> <div>According to the USGS, 52 people in Plymouth reported feeling the quake. Based on their reports, the effect was classifed as a 3 in Plymouth on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale.</div> <div>Felt by almost all indoors. Hanging objects swing. Continue Reading →

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UPDATED: Activists plan to sue Mass. nuclear plant owner

BOSTON GLOBE: Massachusetts activists have announced plans to sue the owners of the Pilgrim ­Nuclear Power Station for what they say is the continuous pollution of Cape Cod Bay over the last 16 years. Read More

HUFFINGTON POST: Plymouth nuclear power plant owner Entergy Corp. says it will thoroughly review allegations by activists who announced their intent to sue the plant for polluting Cape Cod Bay. Read More

Read the letters to the Massachusetts and U.S.Department of Environmental Protection

10.05.12+State+214+7A+Letter-1

10.05.12+NOI+w+Exhibits Continue Reading →

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Nuclear Matters Committee Notes: Pilgrim getting visit from federal inspectors

Inspectors from the U.S. General Accounting Office will pay a visit to Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station Tuesday, plant official David Tarantino told the Nuclear Matters Committee, Monday night. The visit, he said, was to review the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s process for renewing Pilgrim’s license. A review from the GAO is not typical, he noted. Tarantino surmised that an unidentified congressman requested the visit. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Pilgrim station gets latest report from NRC

In the opinion of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station was operated safely during a three week long  labor dispute between union workers and plant owner Entergy. That was one of the findings NRC inspectors made in an inspection report issued Thursday. In it, inspectors noted the NRC had round the clock coverage during the lockout of members of UWUA local 369. Pilgrim, according to the report, was operated safely during that time. Several government officials, including Sen. Therese Murray and Attorney General Martha Coakley, questioned plant safety during the labor dispute. Continue Reading →

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Yet another Pilgrim Watch challenge rejected

<p>Pilgrim Watch=E2=80=99s challenge to two orders issued by the <=
a class=3D”zem_slink” href=3D”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_Regulato=
ry_Commission” rel=3D”wikipedia” target=3D”_blank” title=3D”Nuclear Regulat=
ory Commission”>Nuclear Regulatory Commission</a> in the wake of t=
he <a class=3D”zem_slink” href=3D”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima=
_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster” rel=3D”wikipedia” target=3D”_blank” title=3D”Fuk=
ushima Daiichi nuclear disaster”>Fukushima disaster</a> in Japan w=
ere rejected by an Atomic Safety Licensing Board on the grounds they went b=
eyond the scope of the licensing procedure for <a class=3D”zem_slink” hr=
ef=3D”http://www.entergy-nuclear.com/plant_information/pilgrim.aspx” rel=3D=
“homepage” target=3D”_blank” title=3D”Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station”&g=
t;Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station</a>.</p>
<p>The <a href=3D”http://www.pilgrimwatch.org/” target=3D”_blank”&=
gt;Duxbury-based organization</a> argued the NRC=E2=80=99s response t=
o two of the issues raised by events in Japan were not adequate. In one cas=
e, it challenged a requirement that f <a class=3D”zem_slink” href=3D”htt=
p://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_water_reactor” rel=3D”wikipedia” target=
=3D”_blank” title=3D”Boiling water reactor”>boiling water reactor (BWR)&=
lt;/a> facilities with Mark I and Mark II containments lIke &#0160;t=
hose at the Fukushima facility and Pilgrim Station =E2=80=9Ctake the necess=
ary actions to install reliable hardened venting systems.=E2=80=9D This, th=
e NRC believes would help cool the reactor in case of an accident. Pilgrim =
Watch contended the order was inadequate since it didn=E2=80=99t require th=
e installation of filters in the direct torus vent.</p>
<p dir=3D”ltr”>The NRC also issued an order that nuclear power plant =
owners have a means of remotely monitoring <a class=3D”zem_slink” href=
=3D”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spent_fuel_pool” rel=3D”wikipedia” target=
=3D”_blank” title=3D”Spent fuel pool”>spent fuel pools</a>. Pilgri=
m Watch argued the fuel pools should be redesigned &#0160;and spent fue=
l moved to <a class=3D”zem_slink” href=3D”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D=
ry_cask_storage” rel=3D”wikipedia” target=3D”_blank” title=3D”Dry cask stor=
age”>dry cask storage</a> after five years.</p>
<p dir=3D”ltr”>The NRC granted Energy a new license for operation Pil=
grim for another 20 years in May.</p>
<p><strong>Read the ASLB ruling</strong></p>
<p><strong> <span class=3D”asset asset-generic at-xid-6a014=
7e2e64b07970b017616525eb3970c”><a href=3D”http://manometcurrent.typep=
ad.com/files/07.10.12-deny-request-hearing.pdf”>Download 07.10.12 DENY R=
EQUEST HEARING</a></span><br /></strong></p>
<p>&#0160;</p>
Continue Reading →

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Union members return to the picket line at Pilgrim after rejecting l=

<p>The picket lines are back up at <a class=3D”zem_slink” href=3D”=
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilgrim_Nuclear_Generating_Station” rel=3D”wik=
ipedia” target=3D”_blank” title=3D”Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station”>P=
ilgrim Nuclear Power Station</a> after members of Utility Workers Uni=
on of America Local 369 rejected plant owner <a class=3D”zem_slink” href=
=3D”http://www.google.com/finance?q=3DNYSE:ETR” rel=3D”googlefinance” targe=
t=3D”_blank” title=3D”NYSE: ETR”>Entergy</a>=E2=80=99s latest prop=
osal by a vote of 137 against and 89 in favor.</p>
<p dir=3D”ltr”>WIth temperatures near 90 degrees, the crowd in front =
of the main gate at the power plant was smaller than before, but no less an=
gry at Entergy. One thing several union members wanted to make clear was th=
at the union leadership, despite reports to the contrary, did not endorse t=
he latest proposal, but simply presented it to their members. The negotiati=
ng team felt it was up to the membership to make the final decision, Pilgri=
m employee Bill Davenport said. =E2=80=9CWe were not going to make a solo d=
ecision,=E2=80=9D explained Kelly O=E2=80=99Brien, who serves on the negoti=
ating team.</p>
<p dir=3D”ltr”>Health care is still the issue that divides the two si=
des, Davenport said. According to Union President Dan Hurley, union workers=
currently pay 25 percent of those costs, a figure the company wants to inc=
rease. Continue Reading →

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Union members return to the picket line at Pilgrim after rejecting latest offer

The picket lines are back up at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station after members of Utility Workers Union of America Local 369 rejected plant owner Entergy’s latest proposal by a vote of 137 against and 89 in favor. WIth temperatures near 90 degrees, the crowd in front of the main gate at the power plant was smaller than before, but no less angry at Entergy. One thing several union members wanted to make clear was that the union leadership, despite reports to the contrary, did not endorse the latest proposal, but simply presented it to their members. The negotiating team felt it was up to the membership to make the final decision, Pilgrim employee Bill Davenport said. “We were not going to make a solo decision,” explained Kelly O’Brien, who serves on the negotiating team. Continue Reading →

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Union, Entergy settle contract

<p dir=3D”ltr”><a class=3D”zem_slink” href=3D”http://entergy.com” =
rel=3D”homepage” target=3D”_blank” title=3D”Entergy”>Entergy Corporation=
</a> and <a class=3D”zem_slink” href=3D”http://www.uwua.net/” rel=
=3D”homepage” target=3D”_blank” title=3D”Utility Workers Union of America”&=
gt;UWUA</a> Local 369 have reached a tentative agreement on a new con=
tract, according to statements from both parties.</p>
<p dir=3D”ltr”>Members of the union, who work at <a class=3D”zem_s=
link” href=3D”http://www.entergy-nuclear.com/plant_information/pilgrim.aspx=
” rel=3D”homepage” target=3D”_blank” title=3D”Pilgrim Nuclear Generating St=
ation”>Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station</a>, were locked out about tw=
o weeks ago when the previous contract expired.</p>
<p>Union President Dan Hurley stated that the deal =E2=80=9Chas impor=
tant protections=E2=80=9D for &#0160;employees. &#0160;Pilgrim Vice=
-President Robert Smith said it =E2=80=9Crepresents fair and equitable term=
s both for our employees and the company.=E2=80=9D</p>
<p dir=3D”ltr”>Members will vote on the deal, Wednesday June 20. If t=
hey support it, the deal then goes to the <a class=3D”zem_slink” href=3D=
“http://www.dol.gov” rel=3D”homepage” target=3D”_blank” title=3D”United Sta=
tes Department of Labor”>U.S. Department of Labor</a> for approval=
, according to Pilgrim Government Affairs Manager Jack Alexander, who spoke=
with the Nuclear Matters Committee Monday night.. Once given the OK, which=
usually takes about a week, he said, members of Local 369 can return to wo=
rk.</p>
<p dir=3D”ltr”>While ratification will end the labor dispute, it migh=
t not mean that all the locked-out workers will immediately be back on the =
job. Alexander said that some of the workers might have to do some requalif=
ying before getting back to work.</p>
<p dir=3D”ltr”>Alexander explained that in order to maintain their st=
atus operating the plant, employees have to work a certain number of shifts=
. Continue Reading →

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Sides in Pilgrim Station labor fight to resume talks Monday

<p>According to a union press release, negotiations will resume Monda=
y between <a class=3D”zem_slink” href=3D”http://entergy.com” rel=3D”home=
page” target=3D”_blank” title=3D”Entergy”>Entergy</a> and locked-o=
ut workers at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Stati0n.</p>
<p>However, members of&#0160;<a class=3D”zem_slink” href=3D”ht=
tp://www.uwua.net/” rel=3D”homepage” target=3D”_blank” title=3D”Utility Wor=
kers Union of America”>UWUA</a> Local 369 remain locked out of the=
facility. A statement from Pilgrim spokesman Carol Wightman says this is i=
n order to maintain &quot;the necessary safety focus at the plant.&=
quot; Not surprisingly, the union claims the opposite, arguing that the con=
tinued lockout &quot;needlessly puts the safety of our communities at r=
isk,&quot; in the words of Union president Dan Hurley.</p>
Continue Reading →

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Letter demands town put stop to replacement staff sleeping at Pilgri=

<p>Local attorney Ted Bosen has filed a complaint with Plymouth Direc=
tor of Inspectional Services Paul McAuliffe claiming <a class=3D”zem_sli=
nk” href=3D”http://entergy.com” rel=3D”homepage” target=3D”_blank” title=3D=
“Entergy”>Entergy Corp.</a> is violating town zoning bylaws and st=
ate safety regulations by allowing some replacement workers on the grounds =
of <a class=3D”zem_slink” href=3D”http://www.entergy-nuclear.com/plant_i=
nformation/pilgrim.aspx” rel=3D”homepage” target=3D”_blank” title=3D”Pilgri=
m Nuclear Generating Station”>Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station</a>.&l=
t;/p>

(more…) Continue Reading →

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Letter demands town put stop to replacement staff sleeping at Pilgrim

Local attorney Ted Bosen has filed a complaint with Plymouth Director of Inspectional Services Paul McAuliffe claiming Entergy Corp. is violating town zoning bylaws and state safety regulations by allowing some replacement workers on the grounds of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. (more…) Continue Reading →

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