Plymouth: Pilgrim Nuclear officials assure public of plant’s safety

By Bobbi Clark

Entergy officials opened the public forum Tuesday night concerning the operation of the nuclear power plant with a presentation showing the differences between Pilgrim Station and the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. Questions were not permitted from the floor during the forum, but safety concerns were continually reflected in the questions submitted in advance.

One of them had to do with a terrorist attack, and Steve Bethay, Director of Safety at Pilgrim Station responded.

“We’ve spent millions of dollars since 9/11 improving what was probably already the most secure facility in the state and I believe we’re well prepared for any terrorist type activity,” said Bethay.

But, Nuclear Matters Committee member Richard Grassie expressed his concern about a plane that could be flown directly into the spent fuel storage pool.

“And if it’s flown into the spent fuel storage pool, the area that the spent fuel is stored is an area that is far less secure from a aerial attack than the containment area. So therefore it’s much more vulnerable,” said Grassie.

But it was Selectman John Mahoney who captured the mood of the approximately one hundred people in attendance when he said to enthusiastic applause, “I feel that people should be able to get up to a microphone and ask questions from the floor.”

Selectmen adjourned the meeting with talk of another forum that might allow for public comment.

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