Pilgrim / NRC Approves Changes To Emergency Preparedness Plan

By David Dalton
5 November 2019

NRC Approves Changes To Emergency Preparedness Plan
The Plgrim nuclear power station. Photo courtesy NRC.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted a request to alter the emergency preparedness plan for the Pilgrim nuclear power station in Plymouth, Massachussets, to reflect the facility’s decommissioning status.

The changes come in the form of exemptions from NRC requirements that are no longer appropriate for the station now that it has permanently ceased operations.

Once Pilgrim licensee Holtec Decommissioning International implements the exemptions, authorities may rely on comprehensive emergency management planning, known as all hazard planning, for off-site emergency response to events at Pilgrim, rather than having a dedicated offsite radiological emergency response plan.

As a result, there will not be a 10-mile emergency planning zone for PIlgrim. The facility will maintain an onsite emergency plan and response capabilities, including the continued notification of state government officials in the event of an emergency declaration.

Pilgrim, a single 677-MW boiling-water reactor, began commercial operation in 1972. It ceased operations 31 May 2019. All spent fuel has been permanently moved from the reactor vessel into the spent fuel pool for storage.

Entergy, which owned and operated the station before it was sold to Holtec for decommissioning, said the shutdown decision was the result of “a number of financial factors” including low wholesale energy prices.

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