Cape pols join constituents in asking for Pilgrim to be shut

The 10-, 20-, and 50-mile radii around the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. —Image from Cape Downwinders

Members of the Cape Cod legislative delegation recently called on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to close the Pilgrim Nuclear Plant immediately. The commission met Tuesday in Plymouth. The NRC has given the green light for Pilgrim, owned by Entergy Corp., to continue operations and to be refueled this spring.

“Because of our concerns based on past performance and our ongoing concern stemming from your report, we ask that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant not be refueled this spring and that the orderly shutdown of this plant begin immediately,” Rep. Sarah Peake said, reading from a statement representing the views of the entire delegation.

“Therefore in the best interests of public safety, I unequivocally call for the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant to be shut down immediately. That means now, that means today,” Sen. Julian Cyr added.

According to the Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) designates two zones around a nuclear plant, Zone 1 and Zone 2. Zone 1 has a 10-mile radius, and is subject to direct effects of a nuclear accident. Zone 2 has a 50-mile radius, within which there is danger of radioactive contamination of water supplies, food crops, and livestock.

The Cape Downwinders, a citizen’s group, has a website ( which provides distances of all Cape and Islands towns from the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. The closest Island towns, Tisbury and Oak Bluffs, are 33.8 miles from the plant. The farthest town, Aquinnah, is 43.6 miles from the Plymouth facility.

“We are so pleased the Cape delegation stood together for public safety and called for the immediate closure of Pilgrim. The NRC has failed its mandate to protect the people and environment. Our legislators clearly understand this immoral and unacceptable risk. Their statement called the NRC to task in a powerful presentation of concern for their constituents and our communities,” said Diane Turco, director of Cape Downwinders.