The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s green light that allows the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station to operate for another twenty years came one day after Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko announced his opposition to the renewal of Pilgrim’s license. A few days later, Jaczko resigned. Ted Bosen, a prime mover of the successful, non-binding Freeze Pilgrim ballot initiative, calls this action by an NRC commissioner a victory.
Bosen says the NRC’s vote to renew the license was no surprise: “It was not unexpected, from the beginning we really didn’t think that we would get this industry captured, regulatory body to vote in our favor. “
But, Bosen says, Jaczko’s decision is significant: “That was a huge plus. After Fukushima, he got very safety conscious. He didn’t want to give a license to the two new plants down in Georgia. He basically said, no we should hold off and reanalyze everything based on Fukushima. And that’s been his position right along and it was his position with Pilgrim.”
According to Bosen, the nuclear industry people went wild over that: “…they pushed him out, they succeeded, but he got the last laugh in a sense, and he broke new ground. No NRC commissioner has ever voted not to re-license, so that was a victory.”