Testimony in favor of H2030 – An Act relative to radiological monitoring

Read in full: Testimony from Cape Downwinders (PDF)

Excerpt from William Maurer:

Coverage Analysis of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (PNPS)
Current Radiological Monitoring Stations relative to Cape Cod

The current locations of PNPS monitoring stations create a blind spot on the Cape Cod Bay side of the plant because existing monitoring stations are located only on land. Current station locations are shaped more or less like a horseshoe with the open end directed towards Cape Cod Bay.

Figures, Maps and Diagrams (attached)

Figure 1: maps the current radiological monitoring station locations. [1]

Figure 2: identifies the coverage zones based on the location and capability of the existing monitoring stations. The horseshoe analogy and the “blind spot” should be obvious and is of significant proportions but appears to be located predominantly over open water.
Figure 2 - Coverage Zones

Figure 3: expands the geographical view revealing the blind spot to be more than of little consequence. For simplicity assume the wind blows in a straight direct, there’s an area from Gloucester to Dennis, MA that lies within the arc of a blind spot of the current radiological monitoring stations sampling ability. Figure 3 includes a wind rose diagram showing the directional frequency that the wind blows at PNPS and within the arc of this blind spot which is 58% of the time on a yearly basis. [2]

Figure 4: depicts the PNPS Radiological Monitoring Coverage Zones relative to Cape Cod and the yearly and seasonal breakdown showing the amount of time the wind blows towards Cape within two different Coverage Zones. In terms of vulnerability the worst case scenario exists from January to March when the wind blows 39% of the time towards the blind spot that arcs from Dennis to Provincetown.
Figure 4 - Monitoring Coverage Zones relative to Cape Cod with Seasonal Wind Rose Breakdown

Figure 5: overlays the Fukushima plume and uninhabitable areas over the PNPS landscape. It seems pretty clear that Cape Cod residents and visitors are at risk of exposure during a serious radioactive release at PNPS.
Figure 5 - Fukushima Plume Overlay


It’s my opinion that a blind spot and deficiency of significant proportions exists in the current radiological monitoring aspect of PNPS emergency preparedness planning. The Cape Cod towns from Provincetown to Dennis are in this blind spot. The wind blows towards these Cape Towns often enough to merit real-time monitoring. To date it is unknown how much and when radiation has already blown into the arc of the blind spot, over these towns and into Cape Cod Bay during routine releases by PNPS. Regardless, combined meteorological and radiological monitoring stations should be positioned appropriately throughout Cape Cod and the Islands to assist local Emergency Management in making informed decisions (i.e. evacuation or sheltering in place then relocation) during a PNPS emergency. A precedent was set with the deployment of Duxbury’s “real-time” meteorological and radiological monitoring station using this same blind spot analysis. It’s important and is in the service of transparency, that local emergency management teams have unencumbered 24/7/365 access to this real-time data as it is generated.

[1] Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmrntal Health, April, 2014, “Updates on Environmental Radiation Monitoring Activities at PNPS”, pp 7, PNPS – Real Time Monitors http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/environmental/radiationcontrol/monitoring/radiation-monitoring-activities-pnps.pdf

[2] This data was obtained from Entergy’s “Annual Radioactive Effluent Release Reports” for 2007. 2008, 2011 http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1213/ML12136A555.pdf to the NRC. At the time of this wind rose analysis these were the only years with complete meteorological data from PNPS. PNPS meteorological equipment is routinely not operational for significant periods of time and therefore provided incomplete data.

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