Cape Codders Turn out in Force to Pilgrim Plant Hearing

nuclearPLYMOUTH – Representatives from almost every town on Cape Cod were among the more than 100 people who attended a hearing at Plymouth Town Hall this week about Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant plans to install moorings as part of an emergency cooling system.

Plant officials are asking the state’s Department of Environmental Protection officials for permission to install the moorings off the coast of the plant for the cooling backup system.

The use of the moorings invokes the need for a so-called public purpose and public benefits hearing. Opponents want the state regulators to take a wider look at the proposal, not just the moorings, but Pilgrim’s overall emergency plans.

Edward DeWitt, executive director of Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC), was one of those at the hearing.

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Earlier this year, the APCC did a scientific analysis of the impacts the plant is having on the environment, particularly Cape Cod Bay and the potential for greater harm to the region because of the plant.

“We basically came to the conclusion that the only real answer to Pilgrim is to close it down,” DeWitt said.

DeWitt said APCC is concerned about Pilgrim’s proposal on how to handle the situation if the plant loses electricity and has to pump in seawater for cooling.

“We have concerns about the existing cooling system when it’s functioning and this alternative emergency cooling system poses even more puzzling approaches by Entergy,” he said.

DeWitt said Pilgrim’s plan is inadequate.

“It’s a crazy proposal on the part of Entergy, the owners and operators of Pilgrim, to try again to come up with a cheap solution to a significant problem,” he said. “It’s not even putting a band-aid on one of the significant design flaws at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.”