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MA_Pilgrim - Familiar Patterns
Pilgrim - Familiar Patterns

[ In its final year of operating Pilgrim's owners are trying to squeeze every dime out of the unit. ]

[ Just some snips from the cited articles ]

[ So far this year Pilgrim has been shutdown for 6 days from Jan 05 to Jan 10  and 42 days from Mar 07 to Apr 17 because of storms.  ]



[ And another 5 days from Apr 28 to May 02 for faulty valves for a total of 53 days. ]

Pilgrim’s reactor is powering back up after its latest shutdown, this time for faulty valves that regulate water flowing into the reactor.

Analysis: Shutdowns cost Pilgrim plant millions

[ Pilgrim's gross revenue at full power is approx $1.1 M per day with a net of around $569k / day profit, so big losses for it's final year. ]


[ To compensate for the lost profits Entergy is overworking the operating crews. ]

20180815 | MA_Pilgrim_1 | NRC: Pilgrim staff worked more hours than allowed |

Personnel at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station worked more hours than allowed by federal regulations on 19 occasions, according to the latest inspection report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, analyzing plant performance between December and April.

Federal law prohibits nuclear plant workers from working more than 16 hours in a 24-hour period, 72 hours in any seven-day period, and exceeding a weekly average of 54 hours over a six-week averaging period.

[ Currently the unit has been running at less than 50 % power because of warm ocean temps, sound familiar. ]  

Reactor at reduced power as winds, warm water challenge cooling operations. |


[ Of course to save a few bucks Entergy is requesting an exemption from any contingency planning after shutdown. ]

Pilgrim seeks exemption from post-closure emergency plans |

“Entergy currently provides in excess of $2.25 million to fund Emergency Management programs in the state and local communities,” said Joseph Lynch, senior government affairs manager for Entergy.

In its letter to federal officials, Entergy states the company performed an analysis that shows 10 months after shutdown, the radioactive fuel rods in the spent fuel pool will have cooled sufficiently to significantly reduce the risk of a fire that could release radioactivity into the environment.

The pool will hold more than 3,000 spent fuel rods, tightly racked, once the reactor is defueled.

To date, every nuclear plant in the U.S. that has decommissioned has requested an exemption from the emergency planning requirements, and in every instance federal authorities have granted it.

[ Because the NRC is very busy and doesn't want to have to review documents and fill out exemption paperwork every time a reactor is permanently closed. ]

Some draft rules being considered by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would dispense with the need for licensees to obtain exemptions to eliminate emergency planning zones once reactors are shut down.

NRC spokesman [ spokesweasel ] Neil Sheehan agreed that economics is prompting the request to eliminate requirements related to emergency planning.


[ And just to top everything off. ]

Pilgrim nuclear plant to be sold after shutdown |

 The owner of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station announced today a plan to sell the Plymouth plant to a subsidiary of Holtec International for accelerated decommissioning, after the reactor is permanently shut down in June 2019.

The transfer would include the nuclear reactor, radioactive spent fuel, and more than $1 billion in Pilgrim’s decommissioning trust fund.

Under federal regulations, reactors may remain mothballed and not fully decommissioned for up to 60 years after shutdown.

[ Don't be surprised if after taking over Pilgrim ( and the $1B trust fund ) Holtec decides to Safestor the unit and leave the casked fuel sitting there. ]

The deal also includes the Entergy-owned Palisades plant in Michigan, which is set to close in 2022.


[ Here is some info concernng the spent fuel ]


20161207 | MA_Pilgrim_1 | More deteriorating panels found at Pilgrim nuclear plant |

[ According to the NRC spokesweasel ]
“There haven’t been any related incidents but it’s recognized if you lose the ability to keep spent fuel in sub-critical conditions, it’s a problem you want to get out in front of,” Sheehan said.

[and Entergy's spokeweasel says]
“Degradation of Boraflex over time is a known issue in the industry, which is why Pilgrim has procedures in place to conduct regular testing,”

[ so if they know its a problem and they have testing in place, how did it degrade to a point of concern where they had to take action to move fuel assemblies ? ]

[ The link to EN reporting this is here ]




" Pilgrim’s pool was designed to hold 880 assemblies. The NRC allowed Pilgrim to amend their license to hold 3,859 assemblies in the same place by packing the assemblies closer together. "


[ Pilgrim is scheduled for shutdown in 2019, yet they refueled in Spring 2017.

Since a typical refueling replaces one third of the assemblies
and Pilgrim has approx 580 assemblies in the core that means they added another 193 to an already over stuffed pool.

IF Pilgrim is shutdown in 2019, there will be 193 spent FA,s, 193 FA's that are at a mid point and 193 "hot" FA's that will have been in the core for roughly one and a half years.  ]

[ An analogy might be 193 units of ashes, 193 units glowing red hot coals, 193 units actively burning. ]  

[ Pilgrim is a disaster that's been avoided so far, it's a GE Mark 1 containment, it's so old that the original design drawings are on papyrus, the evac plan is unworkable due to population density in the area. ]

[ If shutdown TODAY they will need over 100 dry casks to store the current spent fuel. Where they gonna put it ? ]

Entergys plans for dry cask implementation, notice on the map how close it is to shoreline ]
[ 25 feet above mean sea level, can only hold 40 casks ]


[( insert annotated pic of cask pad here )]


aerial view of the pad, there are 8 casks on it.  http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=41.944...8&z=19&m=b


[ Pilgrim will be renamed " Endless money siphon " after Holtec takeover. ]

Prospective Pilgrim owner touts experience |

The state has no role in the transfer of ownership of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station from Entergy Corp. to Holtec International, which is expected to take place in 2020 after the reactor is permanently shut down and defueled, according to an Entergy official.

“The only approval we need to seek or obtain is from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,” said Michael Twomey, Entergy’s vice president of external affairs.

[ So all you concerned residents can kiss posterior rocks. ]

Entergy Corp. had on hand top officials from Holtec International and SNC Lavalin, which have jointly formed a company called Comprehensive Decommissioning International to handle decommissioning of nuclear reactors, management of spent nuclear fuel and site cleanup.

Citizens panel members were concerned about decommissioning all of those sites simultaneously.

“It’s manageable, and we’ve done it before,” said Mark Morant, president of U.S. Nuclear, SNC-Lavalin. “It’s not our first rodeo.”

Morant, who has been involved in several nuclear cleanup endeavors, including the decommissioning of three U.S. plants, some international plants and Fukushima Dai-ichi, has been appointed CEO of Comprehensive Decommissioning International.

There was some concern over who would be responsible should the $1 billion in Pilgrim’s trust fund be inadequate for the job. Oneid said Holtec could pick up the cost but added if the business model the company developed proves to be wrong, Holtec might consider putting the plant temporarily in SAFSTOR.

[ As far as Holtec might be concerned there is no concern, the taxpayers will end up paying for it. ]

[ The casked fuel will remain on site and vulnerable to weather effects for years to come. ]

[ No highly paid executives will be harmed during this time. ]
It does seem criminal, their 'business as usual'. The only approval they need is the NRC, but who does the NRC answer to? Civilians will lose this game.
"The map is not the territory that it is a map of ... the word is not the thing being referred to."

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