deMacedo: Feds Not Living Up To Promises In Storing Pilgrim’s Nuclear Waste

 

The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant is under federal investigation after shutting down due to last month's blizzard. (Courtesy of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant)

The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth is under federal investigation after shutting down due to last month’s blizzard. (Courtesy of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant)

The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth is back up and running this week after shutting down during last month’s blizzard.

But State Senator Vinny deMacedo of Plymouth says he is fed up with the federal government’s inability to keep this plant safe for the surrounding communities.

Where to store the nuclear waste from the Pilgrim Power Plant in Plymouth has been an ongoing battle and deMacedo says it is a fight he is not willing to give up easily.

“We as a Commonwealth make sure we do everything we can to make sure that that plant operates as safely as possible, it is a nuclear power plant. And I think everything changed after Fukushima,” deMacedo said during an interview at the State House.

More than three decades ago the federal government passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, requiring spent fuel to be sent to a nuclear waste repository where it could be properly stored.

But that never happened and in 2011 the designated storage site, Yukka Mountain in Nevada, was closed leaving power plants like Pilgrim to be left with the storing.

“We spent 10 million dollars building Yukka Mountain, and then the president says they aren’t going there. That has left the community of Plymouth to be a defacto nuclear depository with no compensation,” he said.

Last week deMacedo sent a letter to Attorney General Maura Healey, asking her to force the federal government to live up to its promises and compensate the affected communities, something they have not done for 30 years now.

“I think people are starting to get tired of the federal government taking in, in the entire nation probably 20 billion dollars in rate payer dollars, to provide for the safe storage of these spent fuel rods and then ultimately not doing anything,” he said.


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About Paige Sutherland

Paige Sutherland was a State House reporter for WATD, and left WATD full-time in March, 2015. She will continue to update WATD time-to-time on relevant New Hampshire news.