Newton Voters Resoundingly Support the Immediate Closing of Pilgrim Nuclear

November 4, 2015 — By 69% to 31% of those voting on this non-binding question, the residents of Newton yesterday called on Gov. Baker to instruct the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that, as Chief Safety Officer of the Commonwealth, he could no longer assure the safety of the public, due to the badly deteriorated conditions at Pilgrim, and that the NRC should revoke Pilgrim’s operating license now. The vote was 6,151 to 2,809. 

A note of confusion was thrown into this question by October’s announcement by Entergy, Pilgrim’s owner, that it planned to shut down Pilgrim within 4 years, by June 1, 2019. But Entergy had announced no plans to fix any of the threatening conditions identified by the NRC, but to continue operating Pilgrim anyway. 
These threatening conditions include 7 high-speed emergency shutdowns in 3 years, whose root causes remain a mystery; a 1992 NRC advisory that a fire in the control room and certain other places could disable the unprotected controls of the reactor, a situation that is still not fixed; and a failure of reactor instrumentation and control of safety relief valves during the historic snowstorm of Jan. 27, 2015. 
Newton’s voters have now joined the voters of each of the 16 communities on the Cape and Islands in calling for the immediate closure of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.