Entergy to close Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station by 2019
NEW ORLEANS – Entergy Corporation has announced that it will close the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth no later than June 1, 2019, citing poor market conditions, reduced revenues and increased operational costs.
According to Entergy the exact timing of the shutdown will depend on several factors, including further discussion with ISO-New England, and won’t be decided in the first half of 2016.
“The decision to close Pilgrim was incredibly difficult because of the effect on our employees and the communities in which they work and live,” Leo Denault, Entergy’s chairman and chief executive officer said. “Our people at Pilgrim are dedicated and skilled, a wonderful blend of young professionals and seasoned, experienced veterans, who for decades have been generating clean power and contributing millions of dollars of economic activity to the region. But market conditions and increased costs led us to reluctantly conclude that we had no option other than to shut down the plant.”
Long-time critics of the plant are already responding, not with celebratory remarks, but with caution.
“This is a particularly dangerous time,” Pilgrim Watch founder Mary Lampert said today. “Entergy admits that Pilgrim is losing money. Therefore they will not make any investments in Pilgrim and we all know that you cannot run an old nuclear plant on the cheap. That is what will happen. Hope our luck holds out.”
Cape Downwinders spokesperson Diane Turco sounded a similar note.
“Ok, now let’s take their language on! Closing? Pilgrim is not closing. Entergy reports it is operating until 2019. That is totally unacceptable. They fail to meet federal safety standards, do not invest in maintenance, and there will be an exodus of experienced workers,” Turco said. “So Entergy continues to operate for profit at the expense to public safety. ”