Cape Codders Get a Hopeful Promise from Governor Patrick after Nuclear Plant Protest

By Samantha LeComte 3-12-2014

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Cape Cod residents gathered for a protest at the Statehouse on Monday to pressure Governor Deval Patrick to shut down the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.

Nearly 100 residents from all 15 towns on the Cape rallied to pressure Patrick to force the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the federal agency which regulates commercial nuclear power plants, to cease activity at the reactor. The commission voted in 2012 to re-license the Pilgrim plant through 2032.

Cape Downwinders, the group behind the protest, works to protect the welfare of residents in Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket against the harmful effects of nuclear energy at Pilgrim and other locations.

The 40-year-old plant raises concern as a safety threat to the neighboring towns; the principal risk associated being the health effects of radiation association with nuclear power.

“We’ve been trying to protect the people of Cape Cod from the hazards posed by Pilgrim (and other reactors, notably VY and Millstone, but mostly Pilgrim) for decades. Our latest effort was to get Governor Patrick to call on the NRC to close Pilgrim because the safety of Cape Codders cannot be assured”, said David Agnew, co-founder of Cape Downwinders.

Their efforts on Monday appeared to be successful. When asked if he would demand that federal regulators close the plant, Governor Deval Patrick told protestors, “I’m going to write a letter, yes”.