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Town Administrator News Flash

Posted on: February 6, 2022

Can we say NO to Dumping Radioactive Water into Cape Cod Bay?

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For Immediate Release (Eastham, MA) -- EASTHAM, MA –


The Eastham Select Board voted on 12/20/21 to go on record as opposing Holtec International’s plan to discharge one million gallons of radioactive water from the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Stations’ reactor vessel and spent fuel pool into Cape Cod Bay. The letter stated, "Discharging the contaminated water into Cape Cod Bay is not the only option available to Holtec. Instead of releasing the water into the bay, the company has other alternative actions to take that include storing the water at the site, employing evaporation, or trucking the water to another location. There is too much at stake to gamble with the health of the region’s environment and its residents by permitting Holtec to use Cape Cod Bay as its dumping ground simply because it is cheaper for the company to do so." Their letter was sent to 35 recipients in both federal and state government.

Holtec International is the corporation that has the contract to decommission the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant. In order to demolish the plant, they have to decide what to do with a million gallons of water from spent fuel pools. Once the radioactive material was removed, the water remains. Their options include: long-term storage, shipping to a long-term storage facility, evaporation, and discharge into the ocean. The least expensive method is to release the water into the Bay.

State Attorney General, Maura Healy has stated that they must go through a rigorous testing program and that they can't discharge without that testing. Due to protests, Holtec International has agreed to not release the stored water until they have "evaluated" the alternatives and that, " we will not discharge any processed water in 2022 while this evaluation is undertaken." However, this process is federally regulated and federal law will apply. It is really up to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. We need to keep an eye on this process as it evolves.

More Information:
https://provincetownindependent.org, "Attorney General -Dumping Pilgrim Water is Prohibited," Christine Legere, February 2, 2022
Pilgrim Watch Advocacy Group: https://pilgrimwatch.org

State:
State Senator Susan Moran has filed ER legislation to prevent any discharge:
State Senator Susan Moran
State House, 24 Beacon St.
Room 506
Boston, MA, 02133 

Federal:
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren
309 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 

U.S. Senator Edward Markey
255 Dirksen Senate
Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

U.S. Representative William Keating
2351 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515


For more information Contact:
Jacqueline W. Beebe, MPA
Town Administrator
(774) 801-3211
jbeebe@eastham-ma.gov

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