This week, Congressman Bill Keating reintroduced the Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Act of 2018, which requires a nuclear plant operator to consult with state and local communities when drafting plans to govern the shutdown of a reactor and eventual transfer of a plant’s federal license. Congressman Keating reintroduced this legislation with Rep. Peter Welch; the bill has the support of a number of Members of both the House and Senate.
Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (“Pilgrim”), in Plymouth, is scheduled to enter the decommissioning phase in 2019. This bill would have a direct effect on the plant’s decommissioning process.
“Ask anyone in Plymouth how important the decommissioning of Pilgrim is and they will tell you in no uncertain terms,” said Congressman Keating. “Plymouth residents can name a number of concerns, whether they be economic, environmental, safety, labor, or others. Not having their input makes no sense whatsoever and would only serve one purpose – the operator’s purpose. It is the people who live or work in the community hosting a nuclear power plant who truly understand the effects of decommissioning one. This legislation gives them a voice. They have been drowned out by the big corporations who own these plants for too long.”
“As the host community for Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, it is important that Plymouth and surrounding communities have the opportunity to work with the NRC and the plant operator in order to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of its residents,” said State Senator Vinny deMacedo.
“I applaud Congressman Keating for his leadership on matters related to decommissioning of nuclear power plants,” said State Senator Julian Cyr. “As Massachusetts is preparing for the decommissioning process of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, MA, the residents of the Massachusetts 9th congressional district are well served by our Congressman’s focus on this matter. NRC regulations for closing nuclear plants remain too broad; local communities deserve greater input on decommissioning decisions that will affect them for decades to come.”
Specifically, the Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Act of 2018 mandates a licensee, such as Entergy who operates Pilgrim, to gain meaningful input from neighboring governments located within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant during the crafting of any decommissioning proposal. Additionally, the bill requires the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to seek public input on a plan, formally evaluate that input, and publicly declare its decision to adopt or reject the resulting recommendations.