Weather Conditions Affecting Pilgrim Power Station Output

COURTESY PILGRIM NUCLEAR POWER STATION

PLYMOUTH – The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is operating at reduced power because of increased ocean water temperatures.

“We have had wind and tide conditions that allowed pushed water coming from our outfall to be pushed back around the breakwater and mixes with our intake water, artificially raising the temperature of the water coming into the plant. We have a technical limit of 75 degrees for water intake temperatures. We reduced power to help lower the outfall temperature which is mixing with the intake to remain within our limits,” said Patrick O’Brien, spokesman for Entergy, the owner of Pilgrim.

The plant had been operating at as low as 40% power and has recently gone up to about 81%. By reducing power output the plant can reduce cooling needs and mitigate the problem.

Federal guidelines mandate that the plant may not use water that is over 75 degrees for cooling purposes. The plant could have requested a waiver to exceed those limits but did not request one from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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