Final Refueling Begins at Pilgrim

COURTESY PILGRIM NUCLEAR POWER STATION

PLYMOUTH – The refueling process of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is underway, the final time the station will be refueled before it shuts down in 2019.

Plant operators began powering Pilgrim down on Sunday, a necessary step for the refueling. Officials have not yet announced when the station will return to the grid, saying the information is market sensitive.

Station-owner Entergy says they will invest $54 million in equipment upgrades and inspections during the outage. The company plans to bring in more than 800 temporary workers to help the 620 full-time staff at Pilgrim during the refueling process.

Pilgrimhas been troubled by safety violations and unplanned shutdowns in recent years and is currently one of the three worst performing plants in the country, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It is one step away from a federally-mandated shutdown.

A recent special inspection of the station revealed 13 new safety violations at the plant.The findings came after a three-week review of the station in December and January.

Pilgrim is scheduled to permanently close on May 31, 2019.

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