Public Comment Period Begins for Pilgrim Plant Decommissioning Process


PLYMOUTH – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has accepted formal review for the Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report (PSDAR) submitted by Entergy for the Pilgrim nuclear power plant.

Entergy submitted the PSDAR on November 16.

The purpose of the document is to provide the NRC and the public with a general overview of the company’s proposed decommissioning activities.

The PSDAR is also informs the NRC staff of expected activities, helping to guide the Commission oversight activities.

NRC Spokesman Neil Sheehan said another nuclear energy supplier, Holtec, has expressed interest in acquiring the plant.

“Instead of Entergy’s approach of putting the plant into storage and decommissioning it many years down the road, it would like to buy the plants and go with an more immediate dismantlement approach that would see the part being taken apart much more in the near-term,” he said.

Estimated costs for decommissioning are also included in the report and an affirmation that the decommissioning can be completed consistent with the site’s environmental statement.

The public has been given until March 21 to submit comments on the report.

“This is an important document, but in this case it’s a little bit unusual where we have two reports because we have Entergy as the current owner of record and we have Holtec, which would like to buy the plant, and they would also have to submit a plan,” said Sheehan.

“We’re not going to review the latter at this point because they do not own the plant.”

The NRC is also holding a public meeting on Tuesday, January 15 in Plymouth to discuss the PSDAR and the decommissioning process.

The NRC will be taking public comments on the decommissioning plans at the meeting.

“This would provide details such as moving fuel out and into a fuel pool to be taken to storage. How they would go about dismantling structures at the site and in what sort of timeframe. How they would ensure the site was appropriately cleaned up from any residual radio activity and many other details as well,” Sheehan said.

By TIM DUNN, News Center

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