Alderman Norton Supports Shutting Down Pilgrim Nuclear Plant

The following was written by Alderman Emily Norton and was published in the Boston Globe on September 10, 2015. It is reprinted here with permission.

Only Good Option is to Shut Down Pilgrim Nuclear Plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has downgraded the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, ranking it as one of the three least safe in the country, out of 99 (“Pilgrim plant safety rating downgraded,” Page A1, Sept. 3). It was downgraded due to frequent emergency shutdowns, but operators do not even understand the cause of the shutdowns. Inspections will determine whether equipment failures, procedural trouble, or human error led to the shutdowns.

More than 4 million Massachusetts residents live within a 50-mile radius of the Pilgrim plant, the area the NRC recommended for evacuation by Americans in Japan during the Fukushima disaster. In fact, Pilgrim is an old and outdated Mark 1 reactor, the same design used in Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. It is unconscionable that this plant has continued to operate to this point. It is time to shut it down, and to double down on energy efficiency and solar, wind, and other clean, safe sources of energy for our region.

Emily Norton, Chapter Director
Massachusetts Sierra Club, Boston