With the situation in Japan unfolding daily following the earthquake, the tsunami and the troubles with its nuclear power plants, we asked Entergy spokesman, David Tarantino, what he thinks about the situation at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth, compared with the nuclear power plants in Japan. Entergy owns Pilgrim.
Tarantino said that “the earthquake scenario is one thing”; but, he continued, “if we look at what happened in the earthquake in Japan and the actual earthquake itself, the power plant survived that very well. It lost offsite power. They shut down as they were supposed to, and backup diesels came on to supply backup power. So the earthquake was not the initiating factor in this terrible situation in Japan.”
He also said that the tsunami, which happened after the earthquake, was what really caused the station’s blackout conditions.
Tarantino noted that the Japanese plant was built to withstand earthquakes.
Tarantino also stated that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant was built to withstand the seismic conditions of the largest earthquake ever recorded; and, in addition, he said, we are not subject to tsunamis here in Eastern Massachusetts.
The earthquake in Japan recorded a 9.0 on the Richter Scale. By comparison, the most powerful earthquake the Boston area ever had was in the 1920′s and recorded 6.0 on the Richter Scale.