Citizens Handbook


Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Owner: Entergy Nuclear Generation Company, LLC.
Location: Plymouth, Mass., on shore of Cape Cod Bay
Type: Boiling Water Reactor, General Electric Mark I (same design as Fukushima)
Size: 690 MWE
Cooling Water Source: Cape Cod Bay via once–through-cooling, no cooling tower

Pilgrim was constructed between 1967 and 1972 (its reactor was ordered on August 7, 1965), at a cost of about $200 million. When Massachusetts deregulated its electric market in 1999, Entergy Nuclear Generation Company bought Pilgrim from Boston Edison for $14 million plus $67 million for fuel. [note] see
In June of 1972, the NRC granted Pilgrim a 40 year license to operate until June 8, 2012. Pilgrim began operations on December 9, 1972. In January of 2006, Entergy filed an application to extend Pilgrim’s operating license for 20 years, to June 8, 2032. The NRC granted the extended license on May 12, 2006, despite the fact that a number of still unresolved issues remained ending before the Commission and its Atomic Safety and Licensing Board. Entergy announced 10/13/15 at media press event that Pilgrim will close by June 1, 2019.
Safety Rank: In September 2015 Pilgrim was moved to NRC’s lowest safety ranking, joining 2 other Entergy reactors. See NRC-reactors-special oversight [/note] The lowest safety ranking remains, 2017.

The Pilgrim Watch Citizens Handbook TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Pilgrim Facts
Fukushima, could it happen here?
Potential Accident Causes
Containment Failure
Radioactive Waste
Loss Offsite Power
Natural Events: Loss Power, Flooding
Strategy Add Supplementary Water
Age Related Degradation
Human Error
NRC Oversight
Accident Response
Emergency Planning
Post-Accident Cleanup
Risks from Daily Operations
Radiation Health Effects
Monitoring Emissions
Marine Impacts
Risk Assessment
Probabilistic Risk Assessment
Pilgrim’s Decision to Close- Reasons and Impact
Pilgrim’s Economics
Pilgrim’s Value to Plymouth and SE MA Economy
Pilgrim’s Importance to the NE Grid
Pilgrim’s Importance to Combat Climate Change

Preliminary Decommissioning Plans-Entergy/Holtec
What decommissioning Should Look Like
Radioactive Waste
Site Restoration-Cleanup Standard, Process
What is likely Cost-Who will Pay?
Public Safety-Emergency Planning, Monitoring

Questions to Ask about License Transfer
Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel
State & Public Participation

OMIT THE FOLLOWING? Or link to it (as a page-without-a-navigation-button) from here…?

Spent Fuel Pool: Located in the reactor building it was orignally designed and licensed to hold 880 fuel assemblies. Over the years, Pilgrim’s license has been amended to allow 3,859 assemblies. As of August of 2017, 2,822 spent fuel assemblies are in the pool.

Dry Cask Storage: Began in 2015 when Pilgrim loaded three Holtec casks; five more casks were loaded in 2017. There are now 544 spent fuel assemblies (68 per cask) in dry casks in the Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility (ISFSI) outside the reactor building.

Pilgrim: How Boiling Water Reactors Work

Note: Pilgrim does NOT have cooling towers. Cape Cod Bay is the source of its cooling water needed to remove excess heat.

In a typical commercial boiling-water reactor:

  1. the core inside the reactor vessel creates heat,
  2. a steam-water mixture is produced when very pure water (reactor coolant) moves upward through the core, absorbing heat,
  3. the steam-water mixture leaves the top of the core and enters the two stages of moisture separation where water droplets are removed before the steam can enter the steam line,
  4. the steam line directs the steam to the main turbine, causing it to turn the turbine generator, which produces electricity.
  5. The unused steam is exhausted into the condenser where it is condensed into water. The resulting water is pumped out of the condenser with a series of pumps, reheated and pumped back to the reactor vessel.

The reactor’s core contains fuel assemblies (boiling-water reactors contain between 370-800 fuel assemblies; Pilgrim’s contains) that are cooled by water circulated using electrically powered pumps. These pumps and other operating systems in the plant receive their power from the electrical grid. If offsite power is lost emergency cooling water is supplied by other pumps, which can be powered by onsite diesel generators. Other safety systems, such as the containment cooling system, also need electric power.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has posted a simple explanation of how a boiling water reactor works.

Entergy’s Corporate Structure

Entergy is a web of limited liability subsidiary companies, all owned by Entergy Corporation that has its principal office in Louisiana. Like a corporation, a limited liability company or “LLC”, is a separate and distinct legal entity. One of the primary advantages of an LLC is that its owners, called members, have “limited liability,” meaning that, under most circumstances, they are not personally liable for the debts and liabilities of the LLC.

Pilgrim is owned by one subsidiary, Entergy Nuclear Generation Company. It is operated by another subsidiary, Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.

The Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont Attorneys General attempted to untangle the assets, revenue streams, and obligations between and among these Entergy subsidiary LLCs. Although stonewalled by NRC and Entergy, they could put together the following organization charts.

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