Holtec Still Pursuing New Permit, Won’t Discharge Until Approved


PLYMOUTH – An official with Holtec International, the company charged with decommissioning Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, said the company is still pursuing changing a discharge permit that would allow it to dump one million gallons of radioactive wastewater into Cape Cod Bay. 

Senior Compliance Officer with Holtec David Noyes said the company is in the process of modifying its NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) and surface water discharge permit.

Holtec is looking to submit the permit sometime in February or March.

The update comes after the EPA notified Holtec last month that any discharge with their current permit would be illegal. 

Noyes said that the company will not discharge spent fuel pool water until that permit modification process is completed at a January 23 meeting of the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel. 

“We recognize the authority of the EPA and their specific restrictions that they’ve placed on us via the letters that we’ve received. We’ve acknowledged them, we understand them, and we will fully comply with them,” Noyes said.

During Noyes’ presentation at the meeting he said Holtec was able to recover some expenses through the sale of certain equipment from the decommissioning process. 

He said the company may be slightly under budget, but a full update will be done in March which will be made available to the public.  

Plymouth/Barnstable State Senator Susan Moran also spoke and said she refiled legislation for the creation of a special commission to review environmental impacts of any potential discharge into the bay.

Moran said she changed the language in the updated version to extend the proposed moratorium on the discharge of spent fuel pool water until 2025. 

The earlier version was vetoed by Governor Baker last year.

By Brian Engles, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

About Brian Engles

Brian Engles is a longtime local of the Cape. He studied Film & TV at Boston University and in addition to his role at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, he also works as a music instructor and records original songs.

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