May 22, 2017

Pilgrim fueled for last two years

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth.

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station powered up again early Monday morning, six weeks after shutting down to refuel one last time before closing for good by June 2019.

According to a station spokesman, Pilgrim reconnected to the power grid at 1:52 a.m. Monday. The nuclear power plant had powered down April 9 for its final refueling cycle.

Entergy, which owns the Plymouth plant, invested $54 million during the refueling outage and brought in more than 800 temporary workers to assist the plant's 620 full-time workers "to upgrade, replace, and inspect hundreds of pieces of equipment," the company said.

Pilgrim, which was licensed in 1972 and can produce 680 megawatts of power using its boiling water reactor, is scheduled to close for good by June 1, 2019.

Earlier this month, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission identified nearly a dozen areas where Pilgrim could improve its performance, but ultimately determined that no additional regulatory actions are needed at the plant. Activists and some elected officials have long been calling for Pilgrim to be shut down immediately, citing documented safety issues at Pilgrim.

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