PLYMOUTH (CBS) — “What is happening at the Japanese nuclear site is cataclysmic,” says M.I.T. Professor Ian Hutchinson. Three of the six reactors at Fukushima are in danger of a meltdown. All three were built about the same time as the Pilgrim nuclear station in Plymouth and have very similar designs.
WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports from Plymouth
Pilgrim Station officials have little to fear from a tsunami. Nonetheless, they have backup systems if there is a disruption of power. “We have a direct feed from NSTAR,” says Dave Tarantino of Entergy, Pilgrim’s owner, “and three diesel units to generate more power if needed; even a massive amount of battery power as a last resort.”
The lifeblood of most nuclear power plants is cooling water, which Pilgrim gets from the ocean, just like the reactors at Fukushima. “Our unit is like a giant radiator,” says Tarantino, “and we use 300,000 gallons of water per minute to cool the system.”
But could a Chernobyl-style meltdown happen in Japan, or Plymouth? Dr. Hutchinson doesn’t believe so. “At Fukushima, the containment building is such that if there is a meltdown, the structure should hold it.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports.
Hutchinson added that what is happening in Japan more closely resembles what happened at 3-Mile Island in 1979, where there was not a massive amount of radioactive material released into the environment.