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Coastal Residents Worried Radioactive Wastewater Will Be Dumped In Cape Cod Bay

PLYMOUTH (CBS) - People on the South Shore and Cape Cod are worried they won't be notified if the owners of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station decide to dump radioactive wastewater into Cape Cod Bay.

At Plymouth Town Hall on Friday, state and local officials heard testimony from Holtec International's CEO who has come under scrutiny for lack of transparency over how they plan to dispose of one million gallons of radioactive wastewater inside the former nuclear plant.

"Your company must seek clearance. Must. From the EPA for any discharge into Cape Cod Bay," Keating said.

"Unless the water is contaminated and it exceeds EPA limits or NRC's limits, typically if our process does not require notifying them then we would not," said Holtec CEO Krisha Singh. "Now being that it's become a high-profile item, we will start notifying everybody."

The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant closed in 2019 after 47 years of providing electricity to the region. Part of the decommissioning of this facility involves large holding pools of radioactive wastewater.

During Friday's hearing which lasted more than three hours, Singh said he's still considering treating the water and discharging it into the bay or trucking it to another state. Meanwhile residents are deeply concerned about their safety.

"I don't know what they are going to do exactly," one woman said. "That is the big issue."

Though nothing was voted on Friday, Senator Ed Markey made it clear that there would be no dumping of any water into the bay unless it is deemed 100% safe.

"We have to make sure that no water goes into Cape Cod Bay that is not absolutely guaranteed by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute to be safe," Markey said.

Markey also wants there to be full funding in case there is need for an emergency evacuation.

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday and involves the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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