Decision on Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station Wastewater to Wait Until 2023


PLYMOUTH – Local, state and federal eyes are on Holtec International on whether it intends to discharge 1 million gallons of radioactive wastewater from the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station decommissioning process into Cape Cod Bay.

But such a decision will wait until early next year, said representatives of the company.

Senior Compliance Officer of the plant’s decommissioning process Dave Noyes gave the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel an update on the process Monday, saying that the water is still in use as a protection for workers.

“The earliest that would be under consideration for the water that is still in use—the volumes that are still in use, would be that mid first quarter of next year,” said Noyes.

He said the work would be carried out over the next few months, likely changing the composition of the water as it is used for decommissioning efforts. 

The possibility of the water ending up in the Bay has drawn criticism from the surrounding community as well as lawmakers, who say it could damage both the environment as well as local economy. 

Senator Ed Markey said in a statement read by his State Director Jim Cantwell that Holtec will be held accountable to its promise of transparent, fair testing of the water.

“Specifically that it will allow the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to be present for the sampling of Pilgrim’s spent fuel water as well as to allow the department to conduct independent tests and analysis on a split sample: half to the state and half to Holtec,” said Cantwell.

Senior Compliance Officer Dave Noyes said they are open to testing at any time.

He added that historical test results of what’s in the water will be delivered to the board at November’s meeting as Holtec continues its own sampling efforts.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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