A day after Gov. Deval Patrick questioned the need for the Pilgrim Nuclear Plant’s energy and two days after Entergy announced plans to close its Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor, activists on Cape Cod announced plans for a rally Monday where they’ll call for Pilgrim to be shut down.
While Entergy officials say the plant is safely operated and subject to rigorous regulatory scrutiny, members of the activist group Cape Downwinders will gather in the parking lot of the Christmas Tree Shop near the Sagamore Bridge to label Pilgrim “an accident waiting to happen” and to call for its closure.
Activists say Pilgrim’s design is similar to the Fukushima plant in Japan that was rocked by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, displacing an estimated 100,000 people amid radioactive releases.
Cape Cod activists have repeatedly called into question the difficulty of evacuating areas around Pilgrim in the event of an accident.
In announcing plans to close its Vermont plant Tuesday, Entergy officials said Pilgrim faces the same market environment that was troublesome for the Vermont facility but added that Pilgrim's "higher power output provides greater economies of scale."
On Wednesday, asked whether he would pressure Entergy to shutter Pilgrim, Patrick said, "It's not clear to me that we need Pilgrim in order to meet all of our electrical needs. So we're going to have to have the conversation about how we meet all those needs and whether this aging nuclear facility is a necessary part of that formula."
- M. Norton/SHNS