Pilgrim Inspection Findings in Focus Tonight

PLYMOUTH – Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors will brief the public tonight on results of a special inspection of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.

A comprehensive three-week inspection of the plant wrapped up earlier this month after the plant was placed under increased NRC oversight in 2015 for a number of safety violations and unplanned shutdowns.

The public meeting will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Hotel 1620 at Plymouth Harbor.

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said inspectors will present preliminary conclusions and answer questions from the public.

“We hope to satisfy some of the questions that have emerged because of the inadvertent email that was issued by NRC staff and then also explain where the process goes from here,” Sheehan said.

NRC officials made the decision after receiving a letter that was signed by Governor Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey and the Cape and Islands legislative delegation.

The letter on January 4 pointed to a leaked email last month from the head of the inspection team that raised questions about Entergy’s ability to operate the plant safely.

It asked that a meeting be held to answer the public’s questions about the safety of the plant.

“We can at least off at a high level a sense of what we found and whether or not we consider the plant to currently be in a safe condition,” Sheehan said.

The NRC said the environment of the meeting will be one that encourages respectful discussion. Threatening language by speakers will result in their removal from the meeting by law enforcement.

The meeting will be led by Brett Klukan, the regional counsel for NRC Region I.

Findings about what path NRC oversight will take will not be addressed as a complete report of the inspection’s findings has not been completed.

The NRC will brief the plants owner, Entergy, on the findings and then have 45 days to complete the formal report.

Entergy was forced to shut down the plant last month after leaks were found in several steam valves.

Nine new security violations at the station were identified last month at the plant. The violations were classified as low-risk but six of them were found by NRC inspectors and three by plant operators.

The plant is expected to close by the end of May 2019.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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