The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has announced its decision to renew the operating license for Entergy’s Pilgrim nuclear power station in Plymouth, Mass. The approval means the NRC has concluded there is no safety or environmental issue that precludes renewal of the plant’s license to operate for an additional 20 years.
Entergy Nuclear filed Pilgrim’s license renewal application on Jan. 25, 2006, making this the longest license review on record. The plant’s original 40-year license was scheduled to expire on June 8, 2012. Pilgrim’s renewed license enables the plant to operate until 2032.
John Herron, president, CEO and chief nuclear officer of Entergy Nuclear, said, “The NRC conducted extremely thorough safety and environmental reviews of Pilgrim’s application for license renewal and concluded the station can safely operate another 20 years. The decision ensures Pilgrim’s generation of safe, clean, reliable and low-cost energy will continue to benefit the New England area, as will the plant’s existing 650 jobs and its $135 million in annual economic impact.”
“Public participation plays an essential role in the license renewal process,” Herron said. “During the NRC’s more than six years of review, people were afforded multiple chances to attend public meetings so regulators could get their input and hear their concerns. The public also had almost unlimited access to the NRC’s record of its extensive inspections of the plant.”
Robert Smith, Pilgrim’s site vice president, said, “NRC approval of Pilgrim’s license renewal application was the culmination of extensive and rigorous review by the NRC and a tremendous amount of hard work by Entergy. The NRC spent more than 20,000 hours conducting inspections and reviews. At the end of the process, we effectively demonstrated that our systems, structures and components will continue to safely perform their intended function during the 20-year renewal period.”
Smith added, “On behalf of Entergy Nuclear and Pilgrim Station, we thank all of our employees, elected officials, community leaders and local citizens for their support throughout this important process.”
The 688-MW plant generates enough electricity to meet nearly 10 percent of the electrical demand in Massachusetts.
Entergy’s Pilgrim nuclear power station secures new 20-yr license