NRC's increased oversight of Pilgrim nuclear plant can be followed online

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant
Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant | Courtesy of the NRC

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said this week that it has established a web page with background data and updates on the higher levels of NRC oversight on the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth, Massachusetts, since problems were found in a recent inspection.

This increase in oversight began after a September inspection that indicated low to moderate safety issues at the plant. On the NRC’s scale, this would constitute a white color rating. The finding was made after two prior findings of similar severity during inspections in 2013. As a result, the plant was transferred to Column 4 of the NRC Action Matrix, a scale of reliability for nuclear plants operating in the U.S.

This designation indicates repeat violations and is the most severe category a U.S. plant can have and still remain in operation. Column 5 represents plants that are not authorized to operate due to significant safety or operational concerns. The NRC website does not currently list any plants in Column 5.

The NRC's Pilgrim plant website can be found at

Currently, three nuclear reactors are in Column 4: Arkansas Units 1 and 2 and the Pilgrim plant's reactor.

The issue that was reported in September involved issues with safety-release valves. The plant's owner, Entergy, will be required to submit plans to facilitate improvements and will be required to attend regulatory performance meetings.

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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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