Plymouth Nuclear Power Plant Shut Down for Second Time in Three Weeks

Federal regulators downgraded the Bay State's last reactor in 2015.

Photo via U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Flickr/Creative Commons

Photo via U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth shut down as a result of a mechanical issue Tuesday morning, marking the second time in roughly three weeks that the 44-year-old facility was powered off.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission told the Associated Press the power plant experienced an “unplanned shutdown” around 8:35 a.m., after water levels unexpectedly spiked in the reactor. Pilgrim also shut down in mid-August to repair a failure of a main steam isolation valve.

Entergy Corporation, the New Orleans-based energy company that has owned Pilgrim since 1999, says the safety of both the public and the plant’s employees was never in danger.

Massachusetts’ last remaining nuclear power plant, Pilgrim is scheduled to close in 2019, citing “poor market conditions, reduced revenues and increased operational costs.” The announcement came a month after federal regulators downgraded Pilgrim to one step above mandatory shutdown, citing Energy’s failure to address the factors that led to the plant’s high number of unplanned, forced shutdowns and equipment failures.