Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station

Emergency Public Information for Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station

Table of Contents

Pilgrim Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ)

The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (“Pilgrim”) is located in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The area that is approximately 10 miles around Pilgrim is called the Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ). Plans have been developed for warning and protecting people within the EPZ. Communities in the EPZ are: Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury and portions of Carver and Marshfield. The Emergency Planning Zone is divided into twelve sub-areas. Official emergency instructions will be given for specific sub-areas. It is important to know your sub-area and follow instructions for that specific area. See the sub-areas below.

People that live, work, or vacation within the 10 mile EPZ should be prepared for an emergency at Pilgrim and be familiar with the EPZ’s emergency plans and procedures.

Pilgrim Station permanently ceased power generation operations on May 31, 2019. For information concerning Pilgrim’s decommissioning process, visit: http://www.pilgrimpower.com/decommissioning.html.  Emergency preparedness plans and procedures remain in place.

Interactive Map of the Pilgrim EPZ

Map showing 10 mile radius around Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant. Communities of Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury and portions of Carver and Marshfield are in the 10 mile Emergency Planning Zone

Sub-areas of the Emergency Planning Zone

Sub-area 1 - That portion of Plymouth within approximately 2 miles of the Pilgrim Station from Clifford Road east to White Horse Beach, and from Manomet Bluffs north to the Station
Sub-area 2 - That portion of Plymouth from Long Pond and Jordan Roads east to the coast, and from Ship Pond Road north to Howland Pond and Manomet Bluffs
Sub-area 3 - That portion of Plymouth from the eastern shores of Billington Sea, Great South Pond and Gunners Exchange Pond east to Plymouth Beach, and from the intersection of Alden and Long Pond Roads, and Jordan Road north to Samoset Street
Sub-area 4 - Duxbury Beach, Gurnet Point, Saquish Neck and Clark’s Island
Sub-area 5 - That portion of Plymouth south of Upper College Pond Road, Alden Road, Long Pond Road, and Ship Pond Road
Sub-area 6 - That portion of Plymouth from the Plymouth-Carver town line east to the eastern shores of Billington Sea. Great South Pond, and Gunners Exchange Pond, and from Upper College and Alden Roads north to Samoset Street and Carver Road
Sub-area 7 - That portion of Plymouth south of the Kingston -Plymouth Town line to Carver Road – Samoset Street
Sub-area 8 - The entire Town of Kingston
Sub-area 9 - The entire Town of Duxbury
Sub-area 10 - That portion of Marshfield south of Route 139/Careswell Street - Dyke Road
Sub-area 11 - That portion of Carver east of Route 58
Sub-area 12 - That portion of Cape Cod Bay within 10 miles of the station


Emergency Classification Levels

If an emergency is declared at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, it would be categorized into one of four emergency levels.

Unusual Event: This means a minor problem has occurred at the plant. It may involve situations such as hazardous weather or a minor equipment problem. Public officials would be notified, but there would be no need to sound the warning signals. People in the area would not need to take any special actions.

Alert: This could affect plant safety but it is not expected to require any special actions by residents. Public officials would be notified. Officials would monitor the situation and would be ready to act if it got worse. As a precaution, public officials may mobilize transportation resources, transfer school children to host facilities outside the area and clear state forests and waterways. State and local officials will convey necessary actions and important information through EAS radio or television broadcasts and other alerting systems.

Site Area Emergency: This means a more serious problem affecting the plant and plant boundaries has occurred. Any release of radioactive materials would be below federal limits. As a precaution, state officials may move school children to host facilities outside the area if this had not already been done. Other precautions would be called for by state officials, as needed. State and local officials will convey necessary actions and important information through EAS radio or television broadcasts and other alerting systems.

General Emergency: This is the most serious type of emergency. It could involve serious damage at the plant and a release of radioactive materials. State officials might direct persons in some areas to shelter-in-place or to evacuate to a safer location. State and local officials will convey necessary actions and important information through EAS radio or television broadcasts and other alerting systems.

Before an Emergency at Pilgrim

  • If you live or work in the Emergency Planning Zone, obtain your Pilgrim Nuclear Calendar and know which sub-area you are in.
  • Be informed by receiving alerts, warnings, and public safety information before, during, and after emergencies.
    • Learn about local warning procedures in your community, including outdoor sirens or horns or automated telephoning systems used for sending emergency notifications.
  • Assemble an Emergency Kit.  
    • Residents of an EPZ should consider adding Potassium Iodide, a drug that can protect the thyroid gland from radiation injury caused by radioactive iodine. Potassium iodide can be obtained for those in an EPZ free-of-charge from local Boards of Health or at a local pharmacy.
  • Create and review your family emergency plan.
  • Be prepared to evacuate or shelter in place. Make arrangements for your pets.
  • Let your local Emergency Management Director (EMD) know in advance if you need any assistance during an emergency. If you or someone in your household would need notification or assistance with emergency sheltering-in-place, evacuating, or staying in a mass care shelter, let your EMD know.

During an Emergency: How You Will Be Notified

If there is an emergency requiring public notification, you will be alerted by one or more of the following warning systems:

  • The loud, steady tone of the outdoor emergency sirens, lasting three minutes
  • A voice message over beach loudspeakers
  • Broadcasts from loudspeakers on police and other official vehicles
  • Announcements from town harbormasters or an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast from the U.S. Coast Guard
  • Tone-alert Emergency Alert System radios
  • A message on Teletypewriters (TTYs) if you have registered with a town Emergency Management Office to be notified over TTY in case of an emergency
  • Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)

If you hear any of these signals, turn to one of the EAS radio stations immediately.

Emergency Alert System (EAS)

If you are alerted by the warning signal, you should tune to your local EAS station for emergency instructions. EAS is the direct link between you and the people responsible for your safety. Instructions may be given to you at any hour, day or night, and will include recommendations as to what you should do for your protection. Follow instructions carefully. Do not worry if you miss the beginning of an emergency broadcast. Information will be provided regularly.

Local EAS Stations AM/FM
Boston 1030 AM
Boston 98.5 FM
Marshfield 95.9 FM
Plymouth 99.1 FM
Plymouth 1390 AM

In case of an emergency, always stay tuned to an EAS station for your area.

Check with your neighbors, especially the elderly or persons who have difficulty hearing or seeing, to make sure they have received the warning and know what to do.

During an Emergency: If Told to Shelter-in-Place

You may be in a sub-area instructed to shelter-in-place. This means you should immediately go inside the nearest available building. If you are already inside, stay there. Sheltering-in-place may provide the best protection. If a shelter-in-place message is given for your sub-area you should do the following:

  • Go indoors and close all doors and windows.
  • Turn off all window fans, clothes dryers, kitchen and bath exhaust fans, air conditioners, and other sources of outside air, unless told to do otherwise.
  • Below ground basements provide the best shelter. Avoid areas near windows; above ground, interior rooms on lower floors provide the best protection.
  • Continue to listen to your EAS station for official messages and updated directions. Call 2-1-1 for questions about the emergency.
  • Follow instructions given by public safety officials.
  • Keep pets indoors.
  • If you have livestock, shelter them too. Give them stored feed and water from a covered source.
  • Stay inside until officials say otherwise. If you must go outside, cover your nose and mouth with a folded, damp cloth. Persons with respiratory disorders should not go out at all, until told to do so by government officials.
  • If you are traveling in a motor vehicle in the affected area, close the windows and air vents. Keep the radio tuned to an EAS station. If you are a local resident, go home immediately and stay inside. If you are a visitor, leave the area immediately, or go inside a nearby building or a public shelter and monitor EAS for additional information.  Public shelter locations will be announced through Press briefings and Press releases.
  • If sheltering-in-place is recommended during school hours, children will be sheltered in the school building and cared for by school personnel.

During an Emergency: If Told to Evacuate

Take the following actions ONLY if your sub-area is told to evacuate:

  • Take your pets with you.
  • Gather all persons in the house together.
  • Take essential items and your emergency kit.
  • DO NOT try to pick up children at their schools. They will be taken to designated host facilities outside the area where you may pick them up later: See Pilgrim Plans for Children.
  • Household members outside the area may be advised not to return during an evacuation. They will be directed to the reception center where they can join you.
  • DO NOT call your local fire or police departments for information. Emergency workers will need their telephone lines for emergency use. Call 2-1-1 to obtain shelter location and other emergency information.
  • The Commissioner of Public Health may recommend that evacuating individuals ingest Potassium Iodide.
  • Continue to listen to your EAS station for official messages and updated directions.
  • Follow instructions given by public safety officials.

As You Leave

  • Turn off lights and unnecessary appliances.
  • Close and lock windows and doors.
  • Check with neighbors to see if they need assistance. Offer to share transportation, if you can.
  • If you need a ride, try to get one with neighbors.
  • If you cannot get a ride, find the Pilgrim Emergency Bus Routes within your sub-areas. Buses will pick you up along bus routes and at pick-up points shown on those maps. If you cannot get to the bus routes or pick-up points, contact your local Emergency Management Office. Emergency workers will arrange transportation for you.
  • If you have livestock, shelter them. Leave them a three-day supply of stored feed and water that has been protected from possible contamination.

How to Travel

  • While traveling in the car, keep all windows and vents closed until you have left the EPZ.
  • Keep the car radio tuned to an EAS station.
  • Drive out of the area along one of the Pilgrim Evacuation Routes. The use of these suggested main roads will expedite the movement of evacuating traffic away from Pilgrim Station. They are the quickest, safest, main routes to use in an emergency.

Reception Centers

Reception centers are available to assist evacuees in the event of a radioactive release. The reception center for your sub-area is outside the 10-mile EPZ:

  • Taunton High School Reception Center (50 Williams St, Taunton, MA ) for sub-areas 1,2,3,5,6
  • Braintree High School Reception Center (128 Town St, Braintree, MA) for sub-areas 4,9,10
  • Bridgewater State University Reception Center (131 Summer St, Bridgewater, MA) for sub-areas 7,8,11

At the reception center, you will be registered and monitored for contamination and care for anyone needing this type of assistance. You will be able to receive information about the location of other members of your family who have already registered at the reception center. If you need a place to stay, you will be directed to a mass care shelter that provides meals and lodging. The reception center and mass care shelters are handicap accessible. If you have additional needs, officials will assist you. If you can, you may want to stay with friends or relatives until the emergency is over.

Pilgrim Evacuation Route and Reception Center Map

After an Emergency at Pilgrim

  • Continue to monitor the media for emergency information.
  • Follow instructions from public safety officials.
  • Call 9-1-1 to report emergencies. Call 2-1-1 to obtain shelter locations and other disaster information.
  • If you have evacuated, return home only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • If you have been advised to shelter in place, do not leave your home until officials announce that it is safe to do so.
  • Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions and those who may need additional assistance.
  • For guidance to members of the agricultural community with farms, food processing facilities and distributing facilities within 50 miles of a nuclear power station, see: Radiological Emergency Information for Farmers, Food Processors and Distributors.
  • See more tips for After A Disaster.

Important Telephone Numbers

Call 2-1-1 to obtain shelter locations and other emergency information. Always call 9-1-1 for emergencies.


  For Help During a Nuclear Emergency For Emergency Planning Information in Advance
    Phone TTY
Plymouth 911 508-833-5801 508-833-5846
Kingston 781-585-7649 781-585-3135 781-585-1337
Duxbury 781-934-7120 781-934-7159 781-934-2387
Carver 508-866-5329 508-866-5219 508-866-4079
Marshfield 781-837-7119 781-837-7100 781-837-0666
  TTY users should call 911 for help during a nuclear emergency.    
MEMA Region II Emergency Operations Center 508-427-0400