Washington – Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and Congressman William Keating (MA-09) today blasted the Nuclear Regulatory (NRC) for rejecting requests by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Pilgrim Watch to stay and re-evaluate the Commission staff’s order approving the transfer of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station license from Entergy to Holtec. As a result, the license transfer will continue and the community’s concerns will go unheard.
“The residents around Pilgrim and the state of Massachusetts have real and substantive concerns about transferring the nuclear plant from one entity that had one of the worst safety records to another entity that has almost no experience decommissioning a power plant,” said Senator Markey. “Instead of listening to the people of Massachusetts, the NRC continues to move forward with this license transfer without answering critical questions about safety, security, and funding. It’s time for the Commission to prioritize local issues over industry expediency.”
“Once again federal regulators have bypassed the concerns of Southeastern Massachusetts and allowed the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station to change hands,” said Senator Warren. “This is a punch in the gut to the people who live, work, and go to school in the area and who have rightly raised safety concerns – and should be heard.”
“Once again, technical rules superseded common sense concerns regarding the Pilgrim license transfer, the solvency of the trust fund, and the ultimate fate of spent nuclear fuel,” said Congressman Keating. “Since the Commission has indicated that they can still decide on the issues that prompted this request, they should act with urgency to address the substantive issues that they failed to do with this order.”
In August, Senators Markey and Warren, and Rep. Keating wrote to the NRC urging it to delay ruling on the proposed license transfer for Pilgrim from Entergy to Holtec until after the Commission considers and rules on extant petitions and motions. And in September, Senators Markey, Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Congressman William Keating (MA-09) wrote to the NRC urging it to reject Entergy and Holtec’s request for the plant to be exempted from critical safety regulations. The NRC approved Pilgrim’s exemption despite public concerns.