House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders are urging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to promptly issue a decision on the license renewal of the Pilgrim Reactor in Massachusetts. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL), and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX) wrote to the five NRC Commissioners inquiring about the stalled application process. The Entergy Corporation filed its original application on January 27, 2006, and the current operating license is set to expire on June 8, 2012.
"With Pilgrim's license expiration date fast approaching, fairness to the applicant takes on additional importance: human importance. Six hundred and fifty people work at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. Even though NRC procedures will allow the plant to continue operating until the Commission finally reaches a decision, the prolonged uncertainty creates an impression of regulatory intransigence and poses a hardship for employees concerned about supporting their families. This is no way to treat the workers on whom the Commission so frequently states it relies upon for safety. It is especially egregious since there remain no safety matters impeding your ability to reach a decision," wrote the members.