Already troubled nuclear plant now on the fritz
The already troubled plant located in Cape Cod Bay has spiked local radiation detectors as high as 115 counts per minute (CPM), adding concern to an already ‘overwhelmed’ staff.
“Now, a group of Massachusetts politicians, including Governor Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey, Senator Edward J. Markey, have stepped forward to put pressure on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in the hopes that it will schedule a public meeting to discuss public safety concerns surrounding the plant,” reports the Boston Business Journal.
According to the publication, on Wednesday officials sent a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) “expressing their concern” over a leaked December 6 email.
An excerpt from the letter addressed to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission commissioner Stephen Burns reads:
“While the NRC undoubtedly regrets the inadvertent disclosure of the preliminary thoughts expressed in the December 6 e-mail, the disclosure happened, and the NRC now has the obligation to address questions raised by that e-mail to help assuage growing public safety concerns.”
“A public meeting also will allow the NRC to outline for the public the steps it may take in light of the special inspection team’s findings to date, the steps that remain in the NRC’s inspection process, and when the official results of the inspection will be released to the public.”
Currently, the reactor is listed at “Column 4,” which is the worst safety rating offered by the NRC.
Moreover, leaks have been found in reactor valves which are designed to isolate radioactive steam in the event of a meltdown.
An update obtained by Superstation95 at 9:51 a.m. eastern time reads:
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency advises SuperStation95 that they checked with their sister agency, the Department of Public Health which has radiation detectors of its own in that area. They say that their gear is showing normal radiation levels. However, they are endeavoring to determine why the RadiationNetwork.com instruments are showing a rising radiation level and they are sending people to the area to investigate.
As of this update, the radiation level is still rising and has now hit 115 counts-per-minute.
However, shortly after the update Massachusetts Emergency Management called the outlet back and told them that “official” readings from “Geiger counters in and around the Pilgrim Nuclear Power plant are showing NORMAL radiation levels.”
Readings from the Radiation Network are currently showing 111 CPM as of 11:53 eastern time.
The NRC is currently investigating the matter and the plant is set to be closed in 2019.