What Does Vermont Yankee Closure Mean for Pilgrim Nuclear?

Entergy Corporation’s plan to shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is raising questions about the future of nuclear power in Massachusetts.

Entergy says it’s closing Vermont Yankee for economic reasons. It cannot compete with cheaper sources of electricity production, like natural gas. 

Entergy also owns Pilgrim Nuclear in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Bill Mohl, a senior executive at Entergy, told Vermont Public Radio on Tuesday that there are no plans to shutter the Massachusetts facility.

“Pilgrim is a slightly larger facility and has some slightly different characteristics than VY,” Mohl says

But activist Mary Lampert says the financial pressures forcing Vermont Yankee to close are also affecting Pilgrim Nuclear. She says Pilgrim is old and will need pricey repairs, which won’t make sense as long as wholesale electricity prices remain so low. 

“Pilgrim is an antique.  Like all antiques, things start falling apart and it’s necessary to expend a lot of money,” Lampert says.

Pilgrim got permission from the feds in 2012 to run for another 20 years, but Lampert doesn’t think the plant will last that long.