Decommissioning Pilgrim Nuclear: Protect Massachusetts environment, health and taxpayers!

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The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station will cease power production in 6 months, but the risk for radioactive contamination will remain for decades longer as Pilgrim enters the critical decommissioning stage. It is extremely important that decommissioning be done safely in accordance with accepted best practices, as expeditiously as possible but without cutting corners, and without leaving the citizens of Massachusetts with a big tab to pay. In furtherance of those goals, I request that you take the following measures:

  • Support MDPH enacting a regulation setting a nuclear power plant cleanup standard as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA), and less than 10 millirem per year for all pathways. This standard has been set by Maine and was the standard used in Massachusetts when Yankee Rowe Nuclear Power Station was decommissioned.
  • Support MDPH enacting a regulation to set a standard for all drinking water pathways of less than 4 millirem per year, which complies with the U.S. EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act.
  • Require that the steel dry casks containing spent nuclear fuel be stored away from the bay and inside a reinforced building. This will reduce the corrosive effects of salt and water, and make them less susceptible to a terrorist attack.
  • Require that the dry casks be monitored for radiation, helium and temperature to warn of leakage of radioactive material, which would end up in Cape Cod Bay.
  • Support legislation that would extend radiological emergency planning protection to a 20 mile radius plus areas - such as Cape Cod - where overland evacuation from a nuclear accident would require evacuees to traverse highways or bridges bringing them closer to the power station.
  • Support legislation to assess nuclear power plants up to $500,000 per year to defray costs of MDPH’s radiation control program. The program consists of environmental radiation monitoring within the emergency Planning Zones of nuclear reactors, as well as emergency preparedness in the event of a radiation release.
  • Support legislation to assess owners of nuclear power plants $25 million annually, payable to a State Decommissioning Trust Fund, to promote timely decommissioning and to help ensure that adequate funds for decommissioning are available.

Thank you for your efforts to ensure the best possible decommissioning process for Pilgrim. The health and safety of present and future Massachusetts residents, as well as the environment, depend on it.