Plymouth: Groups Celebrate Closure of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant

About 20 people gathered to celebrate the closing of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

About 20 people gathered to celebrate the closing of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

 

People gathered just outside the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station Friday afternoon to celebrate it permanently shutting down.

The plant, which has been in operation for 47 years, shut down its reactor for the last time at 5:28 p.m.

“We have been living with the threat of a nuclear accident for decades,” said Diane Turco, the Director of Cape Downwinders. “We’re here to bear witness to the plug being pulled, so we can breathe a sigh of relief that that threat is gone. However, we are now moving on to looking at the nuclear waste issue.”

Turco expressed concern with the storage of waste from the site.

“We know it it’s going to be here for a long time. It needs to be in hardened storage with 24/7 security so that it’s safe,” said Turco. “It’s the best that we can do.”

About 20 people gathered on Rocky Hill Road outside of the plant. They sung songs, and observed a five-minute moment of silence before 5 p.m.

There were some tense moments, as a man advocating for nuclear power jumped into the circle, and yelled while others were talking. Police were called to the scene and calmed things down. The man told WATD his name was Brian Campbell.

“They’re shutting down Pilgrim and that’s 62% of Massachusetts’ green electrical power,” said Campbell. “That’s more than all the solar, all the wind, and all the hydro.”

The plant is owned by the Entergy Corporation, which plans to transfer its license to Holtec International for the cleanup. A statement on the closing was posted on the Entegy website.

“The difficult but necessary decision to close Pilgrim impacted our dedicated employees and their families, and was a decision we did not make lightly,” said Entergy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Leo Denault. “Our employees are the backbone of the company, and their pride and professionalism are evident every day. Their legacy is a 47-year record of carbon-free power generation, done safely and securely, which benefitted the region in innumerable ways.”

People gathered in a circle outside the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

People gathered in a circle outside the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

A man who gave his name as Brian Campbell spoke in opposition of the nuclear plant closing. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

A man who gave his name as Brian Campbell spoke in opposition of the nuclear plant closing. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Brian Campbell spoke in favor of nuclear power on the side after police were called. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Brian Campbell spoke in favor of nuclear power on the side after police were called. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

About Lenny Rowe

Lenny Rowe is one of the newest additions to the WATD News team. Lenny has won two Edward R. Murrow awards for breaking news coverage, and a Mass. Broadcasters Award in the sports feature category. He grew up in Pembroke and was an intern at WATD in 2012. A 2016 graduate from Suffolk University, Lenny now lives in Rockland. Outside of WATD, Lenny covers high school sports for The Boston Globe. Lenny can be reached at Lenny.Rowe30@Gmail.com.