NRC: Latest Pilgrim Inspection Yields No Violations


PLYMOUTH – The latest inspection of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station found no safety violations at the troubled Plymouth facility.

Inspectors from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission say Pilgrim’s performance in their October-December quarterly review period had no issues. The station had 15 violations in the first three quarters of 2017.

“We’ve undertaken measures to continually improve the plant’s operation and safety. I think it showed in this report,” said Pilgrim Spokesman Patrick O’Brien.

“We work hard every quarter to ensure that we’re finding and fixing our problems,” O’Brien added. “Our focus is on improving performance and showing that progress that we’re making at the station.”

Pilgrim has been plagued by safety issues in recent years, and is currently one step away from a federally mandated shutdown. It is one of the three worst performing plants in the country in the eyes of the NRC.

“We would just caution that this is one data point in terms on the bigger picture,” said NRC Spokesman Neil Sheehan, who said that inspectors were satisfied with the progress that Pilgrim made during the most recent inspection.

Quarterly reports are mostly compiled by regular on-site NRC inspectors who are assigned to the station. The NRC also sent in specialists in the storage of spent nuclear fuel to look into plant owner Entergy’s management of the spent nuclear fuel pool at the plant.

The station has experienced a series of unplanned shutdowns during winter storms in recent years, a major contributing factor to its downgraded safety rating. Pilgrim experienced had an unplanned shutdown during a storm in January in this year and also had to cease operations in 2013 and 2015 during storms.

The station is scheduled to permanently close down in mid-2019.

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