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Entergy to NRC: Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant To Cease Operations

Neil Sheehan
Public Affairs Officer
Region I

pilgOver the past few years, five reactors have permanently stopped operation earlier than anticipated and began the process of decommissioning. A sixth will soon be joining that list, it was announced yesterday. Entergy, owner of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant, announced its plan to stop operations at the Plymouth, Mass., facility no later than June 1, 2019. The nuclear plant in Oyster Creek previously announced it was shutting down in 2019.

Entergy has emphasized to the NRC its commitment to safe plant operations until Pilgrim’s control rods are inserted for the last time and the unit is shut down. The company has also told us it intends to get ready for and support NRC inspection activities associated with the plant’s recent transition to Column 4 of our Action Matrix.

The NRC will continue to conduct inspections and provide oversight consistent with that required of a plant in that status, with a team inspection expected sometime in 2016.

More broadly, the agency will keep close watch on Pilgrim’s performance through the end of its operational life. Additional information on the agency’s oversight activities at the plant are available on the NRC’s website.

There are more than a dozen units in some stage of decommissioning under NRC oversight.  The NRC has traditionally used operating reactor regulations for plants undergoing decommissioning, which requires the plants to seek exemptions when the regulations for operating reactors are no longer relevant or appropriate.

While this approach is sound from a safety standpoint, the Commission has directed NRC staff to initiate a process for developing a reactor decommissioning rulemaking, with a final rule to be issued by early 2019. For information on decommissioning can be found on the NRC website.




15 responses to “Entergy to NRC: Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant To Cease Operations

  1. The Whole Truth November 9, 2015 at 9:26 am

    The Hard Work is Just Beginning
    Anti-nuke activists are celebrating another announced nuclear power plant closing. The closing of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant, near Boston, will result in the loss of over half of the plant’s work force of 600 when the plant is shuttered in June 2019. But to young activist Anna Baker, chairwoman of the Pilgrim Coalition, “the hard work is really just beginning”. Really?! Hard work for whom?! The plant simply couldn’t compete economically with its competition, cheap & abundant natural gas. Sorry Anna, the plant’s closing had nothing to do with the “hard work” you and your cohorts have done since your group’s inception four years ago. And what hard work will your organization and other anti-Pilgrim organizations do now that the plant is closing?! Seems like it should be time for all these groups to cease and desist or find another target for their aggression.

    Moderator Note: Verbiage amended to adhere to blog guidelines

  2. Public Pit Bull October 23, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    It is quite incredible that the NRC has still not addressed decommissioning requirements for all those plants that are already well into the process. And for those soon to be entering the process. This however is just the way the NRC operates. A half- century of licensing & operating nuclesr plants with no permanent off- site repository in place for all the high level waste that is piling up at 90 reactors sites all over the US, many in the backyard of large metropolitan areas. The word gross negligence comes to mind!

  3. Public Pit Bull October 23, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    With all these premature shutdowns dedicated utility professionals are losing their jobs. How many NRC personnel have or will be losing their jobs?

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