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Pilgrim is a 43 year old nuclear power station in Plymouth MA, designed to last 40 years yet relicensed (in 2012) to operate an additional 20 years.

It is the same failed GE Mark I design as the 4 reactors destroyed at Fukushima. Any electric power outage that would undermine the cooling system could cause a fire and/or meltdown.   Fukushima could happen here.

In 2014 Pilgrim was cited by the NRC as having one of the 9 worst safety performing records out of 100 US nuclear plants.   After a year of additional oversight the identified problems have not been fixed, many involving risk significant issues. 

A Pentagon-commissioned analysis listed Pilgrim among the 8 US plants most vulnerable to catastrophic terror attack.

Pilgrim emits radiation into our air and water daily (the type which can cause thyroid cancer.)   The incidence of thyroid cancer in Plymouth County (which contains Pilgrim) is the highest in Massachusetts, exceeding the state average by 22%. Suffolk County is close behind, at 16% over the state average.

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Photo: Officials in protective gear check for signs of radiation on children who are from the evacuation area near the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant in Koriyama
REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Pilgrim has nearly four times more highly radioactive waste fuel than it was designed to store.  Experts for the Massachusetts Attorney General said that the pool is vulnerable to a catastrophic fire that could contaminate over 100 miles downwind and cause up to 24,000 latent cancers and $488 billion in damages.

In case of a catastrophic event, Pilgrim’s owners, Entergy Corp., would be liable for only a very small part of the monetary damages, due to the Price-Anderson Act.  Moreover, home insurance policies do not cover nuclear accidents, sabotage or acts of terror.

Pilgrim will not be badly missed if it shuts down.  At times of peak electricity demand, it supplies at most 5% of the mix.  During regular shutdowns for refueling or safety it supplies 0%.

Pilgrim sucks over 500 million gallons of water from Cape Cod Bay each day, killing countless fish and marine organisms.  The water is returned, far hotter, after cooling the reactor.

The nuclear industry has no safe place for its waste. Every plant (including Pilgrim) is its own high-level nuclear waste dump.   Our grandchildren’s grandchildren will have to caretake it while receiving no benefit.

All 15 towns on Cape Cod, and 5 out of 6 towns on Martha’s Vineyard have called for the closing of Pilgrim. It’s time for us to do our share to avoid a disaster in our backyard.

Tell Governor Baker, Senators Warren and Markey and all your representatives:


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Map 10 – 25 – 50-mile radii around the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.
The State Department recommended that all US citizens within 50 miles of Fukushima evacuate.
Boston is 35 miles from Pilgrim.

Download this page as a flyer (PDF)

Read the 2017 Work Plan of the Boston Downwinders

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