350 MVI, Senator Wolf will host forum on closing Pilgrim Nuclear


The climate change awareness group 350 Martha’s Vineyard Island will host a forum in support of the effort to decommission the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth from 7 to 9 pm, Monday, June 30, at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven.

The speakers will include Cape and Islands Senator Dan Wolf, one of the event sponsors.

“This forum will provide an opportunity to hear four knowledgeable speakers present disturbing facts about the dangers that Pilgrim poses to the region,” said 350 MVI member Ann Rosenkranz in a press release. “The evening promises to further inform about a potential threat to our health, our livelihood and our Island home.”

Senator Wolf will share his knowledge of the plant and why he strongly opposes its continued operation. “My position was built on what we know, and what I’ve seen,” said Senator Wolf in an email to The Times. “As a mechanic, pilot, senator, and of course as a father, my strong belief is that we should accept no risk from this 42-year-old nuclear power plant in our backyard. Because as small as the risk might be, the potential catastrophe should there be a major accident at Pilgrim would be so profound that nothing can be worth it.”

Diane Turco, cofounder of Cape Downwinders, will address emergency plans, lack of oversight, and efforts to hold elected officials accountable. Mary Lampert, founder and director of Pilgrim Watch, will detail risks at Pilgrim before and after decommission. Karen Vale, campaign manager of Cape Cod Bay Watch, will present on climate change impact and the risks it poses to Pilgrim. Chuck Cotnoir, director of the Dukes County Emergency Management Agency, will also speak briefly.

“Given the very serious meltdown 3 years ago in Fukushima, the obvious question arises as to whether such a catastrophe could happen here, especially since the Pilgrim plant has the identical design as the flawed power plant in Japan,” said Ms. Rosenkranz. “The Pilgrim plant is 2 years past its expected lifetime of operation, its technology is antiquated and it has been operating without an EPA permit for the past 18 years.”

Senator Wolf and Governor Deval Patrick have called for the plant’s decommission, citing the safety of regional residents and visitors. The Dukes County Commission and all 15 towns on the Cape have endorsed a nonbinding resolution to close the plant.