You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Power returns to Pilgrim, but plant still shut

The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, which shut down after it lost power to its safety systems during the weekend snowstorm, once again has electricity, but it will remain out of commission while repair work is done on a leaky safety relief valve that caused a problem at the plant last month, federal regulatory officials said.

The power, provided by local utilities, returned at 12 a.m. Tuesday, according to a statement from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Continue reading below

“Our resident inspectors assigned to Pilgrim will continue to closely follow the repair work and other activities as the company plans to return the unit to service,” the commission statement said.

Pilgrim, which is owned by Entergy Corp. of Louisiana, first lost power Friday night when three offsite power lines were knocked out of service during the storm, according to regulatory filings and the NRC. The plant was taken offline, and diesel generators powered its safety systems. Electricity temporarily returned to the plant on Sunday morning, but went out again when plant operators believe a transformer was struck by falling ice.

Entergy representatives did not comment. But Entergy spokeswoman Carol Wightman said Sunday that Pilgrim would only come back online once it had gone through testing and maintenance. She could not say when that would be.

Pilgrim’s current shutdown is its third this year. The first two — both in January — were caused by equipment issues at the plant.

The leaky safety valve now being repaired caused one of the January shutdowns. The other happened when the plant’s recirculation pumps, used to adjust power levels, stopped working.

Pilgrim, which began operating in 1972, was relicensed by the NRC last year. The license extends until 2032.

Erin Ailworth can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ailworth.
Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of