Nuclear Matters regrets closure of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (October 13, 2015) – Nuclear Matters co-chair, former Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), issued the following statement on the closure of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, owned by Entergy Corporation, which was announced Oct. 13:

“The premature closure of Pilgrim due to low wholesale power prices that do not adequately reward existing nuclear energy plants for generating clean, reliable power is disappointing.  To continue down a path where plants like Pilgrim – and the rest of the existing nuclear fleet – are not properly valued is simply untenable and deprives communities of important economic benefits such as price stability for consumers.  Today’s announcement creates an even greater sense of urgency around the need to implement public policies that ensure existing nuclear plants continue to provide long-term sustainability of the electric system and an adequate power supply for the 21st century electric grid.

“Pilgrim’s retirement is especially concerning for residents of Plymouth, and Massachusetts, considering the plant employs more than 600 highly-skilled employees with an annual payroll of $55 million and generates 12 percent of the state’s electricity.  In addition, Plymouth produces the overwhelming majority – 79 percent – of Massachusetts’ emission‐free electricity.  Its closure will clearly hamstring Massachusetts’ ability to meet the emissions targets set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently finalized Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions and ensure a cleaner energy future for the country.   

“Nuclear energy is safe, reliable, secure, and 100 percent carbon-free.  Time and again, we have raised the point that policymakers and stakeholders can no longer afford to sit back and allow nuclear plants to continue to face pressure, especially when the market challenges they face are solvable through the right kinds of policy solutions.  However, the only way to ensure that today’s announcement is the last of its kind is to begin considering these solutions now.”

About Nuclear Matters

The mission of Nuclear Matters is to inform the public about the clear benefits that nuclear energy provides to our nation, to raise awareness of the economic challenges to nuclear energy that threaten those benefits, and to work with stakeholders to explore possible policy solutions that properly value nuclear energy as a reliable, affordable and carbon-free electricity resource that is essential to America’s energy future.

Supporters of Nuclear Matters include a range of companies and organizations in the energy industry, including Ameren Missouri, American Nuclear Insurers, Arizona Public Service Company, AREVA, Black & Veatch, POWER Engineers, Centrus Energy Corp. Dominion, Duke Energy, Energy Future Holdings Corporation, Energy Northwest, Entergy Corporation, Exelon Corporation, FirstEnergy Corp., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Lightbridge Corporation, Nebraska Public Power District, NextEra Energy Inc., Omaha Public Power District, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company, Southern Company, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Westinghouse Electric Corporation.