Aldermen to Discuss Ballot on Closing of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant

On Monday, August 10, Newton’s Board of Aldermen will hear and vote on a non-binding ballot question for this November to request the Governor to instruct the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) to close the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth. The proposed ballot question passed the Aldermanic Programs and Services Committee unanimously. You can email or call your Aldermen and/or be there on the 10th. The question is listed below. The Pilgrim Plant is very old, considered by many to be one of the five worst in the country, vulnerable to sabotage, spewing and emitting radiation and not really needed for our electricity. Newton is within 50 miles of Pilgrim. There is no real evacuation in case of emergency. Any questions, please contact Guntram Mueller, [email protected] and Susan Mirsky, [email protected]

DRAFT OF NON-BINDING BALLOT QUESTION FOR NOV. 2015 Submitted to the Newton Board of Aldermen, July 13, 2015

Whereas, already in 1972, an Atomic Energy Commission safety official recommended that the GE Mark 1 BWR design of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, MA, 38 miles from Newton, “be discontinued because it presents unacceptable safety risks”, and

Whereas the 43-year old Pilgrim is now old and decrepit, past its design life, and has been downgraded by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to be one of the 5 least safe in the country, out of 100, because of its frequent emergency shutdowns, and because Pilgrim has failed to fix some of the critical problems the NRC told it to fix, and

Whereas a Pentagon-commissioned analysis has concluded that it is one of the 8 most vulnerable to catastrophic terror attack because of its unprotected ocean cooling water intake, and

Whereas a Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office report concluded that a loss of cooling, for any reason, of the triply overloaded spent fuel pool would ignite a fire that could spread a highly radioactive plume hundreds of miles downwind, and cause an estimated 24,000 eventual cancers and a devastating $582 billion in damages, while people forced to abandon their homes would receive from Pilgrim only a tiny sliver of the actual value of their homes, and nothing at all from their homeowners insurance, and

Whereas the Nuclear Regulatory Commission recommended for Americans in Japan a 50-mile radius evacuation zone around the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a zone which, around Pilgrim, would include all of Cape Cod and the greater Boston area (including Newton), neither of which could be evacuated in time in a sudden major nuclear emergency, and

Whereas, if Pilgrim is closed, its 2% contribution to the ISO New England electrical generation capacity would be hardly missed, according to an ISO New England projection of 12% – 20% reserve capacity over the next 10 years,

Now therefore, shall Governor Charles Baker instruct the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to revoke the operating license of the 43-year old Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, because the safety of the public cannot be assured?

Vote: A) Yes, Governor should instruct NRC to close Pilgrim. OR

B) No, he should not.

Sources of the “Whereas” Statements of the Newton Non-binding Ballot Question for Nov. 2015

Whereas #1: nytimes.com/2011/03/16/world/asia/16contain.html?_r=0

Whereas #2:
Google nuclear regulatory commission, type nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/news/ 2015/15-013.pdf into the search box, click, and scroll down to get this.

Whereas #3: prnewswire.com/news-releases/study-us-nuclear-reactors-vulnerable-to-terrorist- attack-219792561.html

Whereas #4:
Google nuclear regulatory commission, type pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1112/ML111220356.pdf into the search box, click, and scroll down to get Dr. Beyea’s report. See p. 18.

Whereas #5: japan.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-20110331-travel-warning.html

Whereas #6: iso-ne.com/static-assets/documents/2015/05/2015_celt_report.pdf See p. 1.1.1