THE BOSTON GLOBE
The state’s top elected leaders are calling on the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission to hold a public meeting in Massachusetts to discuss safety concerns at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant.
The officials, including US senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, made the request in a letter Wednesday to NRC Chairman Stephen G. Burns, citing a recent e-mail from an agency inspector that described an “overwhelmed” staff at the Plymouth plant.
“The views expressed . . . in a December 6, 2016 e-mail have raised legitimate concerns among the public about their safety and raised serious questions about [plant owner] Entergy’s ability to continue to operate the plant safely,” the letter states.
Signatories included Warren, Markey, the state’s entire US House delegation, and several Beacon Hill officials including Governor Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey.
Asked for comment Wednesday, Entergy spokesman Patrick O’Brien reiterated the company’s December statement that an ongoing NRC review of the plant is “the next step in Pilgrim’s process toward a return to industry excellence,” and that Pilgrim has worked hard to fix problems that led to its “performance decline.”
Neil Sheehan, an NRC spokesman, said in an e-mail that the agency will consider the elected officials’ request for a public meeting.
“It’s important to point out that our inspectors continuously evaluate plant safety as issues are identified and Pilgrim remains safe based on what we have seen thus far,” Sheehan wrote.
The call for a meeting comes amid the ongoing NRC review of operations at the plant, which the agency has classified as having a poor safety record. Recent incidents include shutdowns in August, September, and December to address equipment problems.
Concerns intensified in early December, when a memo from the lead NRC inspector looking into Pilgrim was accidentally sent to an environmental advocate, who gave it to the Cape Cod Times newspaper. The document, first published in the Times, described a staff that appeared “overwhelmed by just trying to run the station,” and a “safety culture problem” at the facility.
Sheehan said Wednesday that the memo contained preliminary observations, and the inspection team will return to the plant on Monday.
But lawmakers were already sounding alarms in Wednesday’s letter, writing that “the Company is quite clearly not working hard enough.”
The plant is scheduled to close permanently in 2019.
The Mega Millions jackpot for Friday’s drawing increased to a record-high $970 million Thursday.Continue reading »
When Harvard University admitted several applicants tied to influential donors to its Kennedy School, the school’s dean sent an e-mail calling the head of admissions “my hero.”Continue reading »
The texts show just how much Hernandez was spinning out of control.Continue reading »
Gerald Schuster, a prominent Boston businessman and Democratic booster known for his far-reaching civic endeavors, has died at the age of 89.Continue reading »
Bradford Casler, a Newton man with multiple sclerosis, is charged with driving his SUV into the Sweet Tomatoes pizza shop in Newton, killing two patrons and injuring seven others.Continue reading »
Governor Baker stumbled over several questions about Geoff Diehl, a supporter of President Trump who’s running for US Senate, during a Wednesday gubernatorial debate.Continue reading »
While tickets for the Broadway blockbuster typically cost hundreds of dollars, the students paid only $10 through a partnership between the show’s producers, the Lynch Foundation, Broadway in Boston and the John Gore Organization.Continue reading »
A poignant obituary outlining the opioid addiction that ultimately led to the death of a 30-year-old Vermont mother is gaining attention.Continue reading »
A warmer-than-normal winter could be in store for New England. But the jury is out on whether it will be wetter than normal.Continue reading »