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U.S. Nuclear Reactors

Reactor:
Pilgrim
Location:

Plymouth, Massachusetts
Local population: 94,595 (10-mile radius)

Type:

Boiling Water Reactor

Status:

Operating
Licensed to operate from 09/15/72-06/08/32

Owner:

Entergy Nuclear Operations

Safety Issues:

Year Plus Outages, Groundwater Leaks Reported, Elevated Spent Fuel Pool

Pilgrim nuclear power plant
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Related Links & Documents

08/2012   Fission Stories #109 describes a safety problem the NRC identified in 2006 that was not fixed until 2012. The plant’s operating license only allowed the reactor to operate for up to 24 hours with this type of problem.

05/2011   Fission Stories #59 describes the nuclear hokey pokey that occurred as the operators attempted to restart the reactor following a refueling outage. They pulled control rods from the reactor core until its power level was increasing too rapidly, inserted too many control rods in an over-reaction until the reactor power level was dropping, and withdrew more control rods until the rapidly rising power level triggered an automatic shut down.

09/18/2006   UCS documented the factors leading to the year-plus reactor outage that began in April 1986 in this case study for our Walking a Nuclear Tightrope report.  See details | Download the pdf (1.5 kb)

09/18/2006   UCS documented the factors leading to the year-plus reactor outage that began in December 1983 in this case study for our Walking a Nuclear Tightrope report.  See details | Download the pdf (1.5 kb)

03/07/1997   Fission Stories #31 summarizes how 4,300 gallons of flammable oil leaking from a power transformer outside the plant flowed into the turbine building and, had it ignited, potentially caused a station blackout.

10/1988   Fission Stories #10 describes how an aide to the Massachusetts governor was injured when NRC security guards dragged him out of an NRC public meeting.

08/1981   Fission Stories #115 reported that workers found mussels had partially blocked the flow from an emergency cooling system to safety equipment needed to cool the reactor in event of an accident.

12/1979   Fission Stories #95 talked about workers using the overhead crane to transfer unirradiated fuel bundles into the spent fuel pool and very nearly dragging one irradiated bundle from the spent fuel pool.