Duxbury: Forum Focuses on Dangers of Spent Fuel Stored at Pilgrim Power Plant

The Duxbury Nuclear Advisory Committee hosts a forum about spent fuel storage concerns at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station after the plant officially closes in 2019.

All of the nuclear fuel that Pilgrim has ever used is now stored on-site; the fuel dates back to 1972. Some of the spent fuel is contained in dry casks on a concrete pad 150 feet from the shoreline and 4 feet above sea level; however, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has confirmed that the stainless steel canisters are susceptible to cracking within 30 years, and no technology exists to fix any necessary repairs to the casks.

Duxbury Nuclear Advisory Committee Member Jim Lampert says the current method of dry cask storage at Pilgrim leaves it susceptible to a terrorist attack:

Each dry cask at Pilgrim contains half of the amount of Cesium-137 that had been released at Chernobyl.

The NRC’s current Nuclear Waste Rule allows spent fuel to stay on-site for 60 years after the reactor closes and the casks may stay on-site for up to 300 years. This is because there is no official offsite storage facility anywhere in the country at this point in time.

These additional concerns will be addressed at a Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel at Plymouth South High School on *Wednesday, May 24 at 6:00 p.m.

(*Editors Note: All information provided in this story is derived from the research and opinions of the Duxbury Nuclear Advisory Committee. The presentation on the group’s concerns about storage at Pilgrim can be found on the DNAC homepage on the official Duxbury Website. A previous version of this article also incorrectly stated the meeting will take place on a Tuesday.)

 

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About Mimi Walker

Mimi Walker is a 2016 graduate from Emerson College, holding a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism. While at Emerson, she was both an avid reporter and an on-air music personality at 88.9 WERS, Emerson’s long-running radio station. She also wrote for several on-campus publications. She covered the 2015 Edward R. Murrow awards in New York City, and had previous internships at 103.3 AMP radio and at Seacrest Studios in Boston Children’s Hospital (as well as with Rob and Lisa on the South Shore Morning News!) Her proudest academic achievement is being a TOMODACHI scholar and contributing to an iBook about American Senator and war hero Daniel Inouye, which led her all across Japan in her many school travels. Thanks to her time in Japan, and a semester abroad in the Netherlands, Mimi has an appetite for stories and all kinds of art across the globe.