Nuclear Pollution

Pilgrim nuclear plant may release radioactive water into Cape Cod Bay

PLYMOUTH — One of the options being considered by the company that is decommissioning the closed Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is to release around one million gallons of potentially radioactive water into Cape Cod Bay.

The option had been discussed briefly with state regulatory officials as one possible way to get rid of water from the spent fuel pool, the vessel reactor and other components of the facility, Holtec International Spokesman Patrick O’Brien said in an interview Wednesday. It was highlighted in a report by state Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Regional Director Seth Pickering at Monday’s meeting of the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel in Plymouth.

“We had broached that with the state, but we’ve made no decision on that,” O’Brien said.

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, which was permanently closed in 2019 and is undergoing decommissioning.

As of mid-December, Holtec will complete the process of moving all the spent fuel rods into casks that are being stored on a concrete pad on the Pilgrim plant site in Plymouth. After that, O’Brien told the panel, the removal and disposal of other components in those areas of the facility will take place and be completed sometime in February.

O’Brien said the remaining water used to cool the fuel rods in the pool and inside the reactor will be dealt with — the process to decide on a disposal method will get underway within the next six months to a year. Two other possible options discussed at Monday’s meeting are trucking the water off-site to an approved facility, as Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant did in shipping its contaminated water to a site in Idaho or to evaporate it, a process that has already been employed in some areas of the Plymouth plant.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button