Group Opposes Plymouth Nuke Plant’s Use of Ocean Water

Up to 510 million gallons of water is pulled into Pilgrim's cooling system (via the intake structure) and then the heated and polluted water is discharged back into Cape Cod Bay via the discharge canal. Photo/capecodbaywatch.org
Up to 510 million gallons of water is pulled into Pilgrim’s cooling system (via the intake structure) and then the heated and polluted water is discharged back into Cape Cod Bay via the discharge canal. Photo/CapeCodBaywatch.org

The local conservation group Cape Cod Bay Watch has asked the U.S. EPA to terminate Pilgrim Nuclear’s Clean Water Act wastewater discharge permit. The permit has been expired for nearly 18 years, but EPA has continued to allow the Plymouth, Massachusetts-based plant to operate with the expired permit. Terminating the permit would mean that Pilgrim’s owner, Entergy Nuclear Generation Co., could no longer use seawater from Cape Cod Bay as a cooling water source, nor could it discharge the polluted and heated wastewater back into the Bay.

“The natural resources in Cape Cod Bay that Pilgrim destroys—such as fish, larvae, plankton and the larger marine wildlife that depend on those species—are public resources,” said CCBW spokesperson Karen Vale. “The Clean Water Act was never intended to give Entergy a right to destroy these resources for an indefinite period.”