New England news in brief
Pilgrim plant proposal raises official concerns
Massachusetts officials raised major concerns Wednesday about Entergy’s proposed sale of the soon-to-be-closed Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth to another company for decommissioning. In a motion filed with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Attorney General Maura Healey and the administration of Governor Charlie Baker asked that the state be allowed to intervene in the federal review of the pending deal, citing health, safety and financial risks associated with the planned transfer of Pilgrim’s license to a New Jersey-based subsidiary of Holtec International. Specifically, Healey and state Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton argue that Entergy and Holtec have failed to demonstrate that sufficient financial resources exist to safely decommission the plant and provide for the long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel at the site. The state’s only remaining nuclear plant, which began operations in 1972 and has a spotty safety record, is slated for permanent shutdown by June 1. The petition stops short of asking the NRC to block the sale, but suggests the agency should not allow it to go forward as currently proposed. The state is also seeking a public hearing to air its concerns. In a statement, Entergy said it was reviewing the state’s filing. ‘‘We believe the transfer of Pilgrim to Holtec for prompt and safe decommissioning is the best option for Plymouth and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,’’ the company said.
Gaming panel votes to settle Wynn lawsuit
A settlement is pending in casino mogul Steve Wynn’s lawsuit seeking to block the release of Massachusetts’ investigation into allegations of sexual assault against him. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted Wednesday to authorize its legal counsel to finalize an agreement with Wynn to dismiss his lawsuit filed in Clark County District Court in Nevada. Specific terms weren’t disclosed, but the commission said the deal would guarantee access to the report its investigators have compiled but have been unable to release. Brian Kelly, a Massachusetts lawyer representing Steve Wynn in a separate matter, said the agreement ensures that no privileged materials are improperly utilized when investigators turn in their report to the commission.
The commission is considering whether Wynn Resorts is still suitable to hold a state casino license in light of the misconduct allegations, which Wynn has denied. (AP)
Porpoise pops up in Dorchester Bay
It’s not every day you see a porpoise swimming in Dorchester. But that’s exactly what happened last Friday, and Paul Moore was there to get it on video. The Savin Hill resident noticed a dorsal fin cutting through the water just a few yards away from the shore, near the Dorchester Yacht Club. Moments later, the fin surfaced again, and then dipped back into the water, and surfaced again as it gracefully made its way through the harbor. “It was quite a sight,” said Moore, 55. Officials from the New England Aquarium identified the animal as a harbor porpoise and said it was the first official sighting in the Boston area for this winter season.
West Warwick, R.I.
State notes anniversary of Station nightclub fire
Rhode Island is marking the 16th anniversary of a nightclub fire that killed 100 people and injured more than 200. The Feb. 20, 2003, fire was started when pyrotechnics for the rock band Great White ignited flammable soundproofing foam on the walls of The Station nightclub in West Warwick. The fire quickly spread through the overcrowded club, and many people became trapped and died, or were severely burned. The site of the fire is now a memorial park. Although no formal service is planned at the site, several people showed up Wednesday to pay their respects. Club owners Jeffrey and Michael Derderian and Great White tour manager Daniel Biechele, who set off the pyrotechnics, reached plea deals on involuntary manslaughter charges. Biechele and Michael Derderian served prison time. (AP)