On Thursday March 29 at 7 p.m., the newspaper Wicked Local of Plymouth Massachusetts will sponsor a forum on the relicensing of Pilgrim Nuclear plant. Howard Shaffer and Arnie Gundersen will be the panelists. The event is called the Freeze Pilgrim Forum because Shaffer and Gundersen will be debating: "Should Pilgrim's relicensing be frozen until all the Fukushima event corrections are completed?" This question is a local non-binding ballot initiative. As you might expect, Gundersen will debate in favor of freezing the relicensing and Shaffer for proceeding with relicensing.
Many of us can't get down to Plymouth MA to see the debate, but we can see it (and ask questions) on-line. It's going to be a multi-media event. The invitation:
FFMand has invited you to watch their event:
Live Blog: Freeze Pilgrim: the Debate
Date: Thursday March 29, 2012
Time: 7:00PM EDT
Please consider participating in our "live" reporting from the March 29th Freeze Pilgrim forum in Plymouth, and informing your members/colleagues and friends about this enhanced coverage. Our reporting will begin 15 minutes prior to the start of the question and answer period, and will continue until the forum's conclusion. This forum is an important prelude to Plymouth's non-binding ballot referendum on re-licensing Pilgrim. The "Cover-It-Live" event will include live updates on the Q&A, polls, mini-resumes, graphics, and the ability for participants to comment as events unfold.
Frank Mand, Old Colony Memorial/GateHouse Media NE (Fmand@wickedlocal.com)
Copy-paste this link in your browser:
The Pilgrim Plant
Pilgrim Station is a Mark 1 BWR. Like Vermont Yankee, it is owned by Entergy. Its forty-year license will expire on June 8, 2012. Pilgrim submitted its renewal application to NRC in January 2006. No other renewal has taken this long to complete. However, the plant can keep operating after June 8, because it applied for NRC renewal in an appropriate time frame, and so can continue to operate on its existing license.
According to this article about Pilgrim relicensing in the Patriot Ledger, the major slow-down for relicensing has been a long series of contentions filed by Mary Lampert of Duxbury. She has founded the group Pilgrim Watch to oppose the plant's operation.
Once again, going back to Wicked Local, there have been two articles about the debate. On March 18, the article Nuclear Forum Off to a Shaky Start described how Entergy and the NRC said they would not participate in the debate. Then the fun began. The organizers accepted an offer from Howard Shaffer to debate. As the article describes the situation at that point:
But when Shaffer’s participation was announced, Gundersen was not happy, and Freeze Plymouth was told he would renege on his commitment to the event because of what were characterized as “personal” attacks by Shaffer on his qualifications.
The Old Colony reached Shaffer at his New Hampshire home Friday, and while he admitted to instances where he and/or colleagues had been critical of Gundersen’s qualifications, he said he’s appeared on panels with the Fairewinds engineer before without incident.
On March 21, another Wicked Local article appeared: Freeze forum 'experts' set. The article starts: Fairewinds Associates Founder Margaret Gundersen has confirmed that her husband, Arnold Gundersen, has accepted an invitation to be one of two “experts” at next week’s Freeze Pilgrim forum – a public prelude to May’s nonbinding referendum on the re-licensing of Plymouth’s 40-year-old nuclear power plant.
So I guess the debate is a "go."
We can all attend, on-line. If I get more information on attendance, I will update this post.