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Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.

Infrastructure

Historic Plymouth Looks To A Future Without Pilgrim

The Plymouth Rock portico looks out across the Plymouth Bay to Rocky Point, the location of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Beneath a towering granite pavilion, in the smallest state park in Massachusetts, is an unassuming gray boulder with outsized historic and economic importance: Plymouth Rock. The Rock draws a million visitors a year. Tourism is a powerful economic engine for Plymouth, employing 4,000 workers and generating $30 million annually in local taxes.

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This Vermont Town Took A Big Hit When Its Nuclear Plant Closed

Spent fuel at Vermont Yankee is stored in these casks. NorthStar, the company that wants to buy the closed plant, recently boosted its financial plan to pay for fuel storage. Photo courtesy of Vermont Yankee

At the end of May, the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth will permanently shut down. Forty-six years ago it began generating electricity, high-paying jobs and intense controversy over safety and environmental impact. Pilgrim went into service just one day after its sister plant: Vermont Yankee. Both reactors were the same make and model: a GE Mark I reactor. And since 2002, they have been operated by the same company: Entergy.

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Historic Willimantic, Connecticut To Demolish Rough Reputation

Small businesses including an upscale coffee shop have recently opened on Main Street, intermingling with crumbling buildings. Photo by Cassandra Basler for WSHU

Two grand hotels on historic Main Street of Willimantic, Connecticut, hosted movers and shakers from New York and Boston during the golden age of train travel. The hotels fell into disrepair when travelers took to the highways. Cheap rooms, cheap heroin and social services drew addicts, sex workers and the unemployed. A plan to demolish the buildings may force the town to reconcile its grand history and troubled past.

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The Future Of Nuclear Energy In New England

The Pilgrim nuclear reactor building. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

As Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant stopped production in Vernon, Vermont, and as Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts moves to close later this year, what is the future of nuclear power in our region? Soon New England will only have Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant operating in New Hampshire and Millstone Nuclear Power Plant operating in Connecticut, so what does this mean for our energy mix and for ratepayers in our region?

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