Millstone, Nuclear Power, Dead Fish
An e-mail from Terry Backer, Soundkeeper and co-chairman of the General Assembly's peak oil caucus, about the Millstone nuclear power plant:
Some time ago in a post you remarked that you were not sure what my position was on nuclear power. Your statement was prompted by my position that the Millstone Power Station in
I have never called for the closure of Millstone and have focused my attention for more than a decade on its impact on marine life.
Any reasonable person should have reservation about the status of spent nuclear fuel and the lack of a national disposal site. Even then the long term storage of spent fuel rods remains challenging on every front from trucking to storing for 10,000 years. Currently, all the high level contaminated spent fuels rods sit on site. Nuclear power will be touted as a way to reduce our oil and gas use along with greenhouse gases. The dirty little secret is there isn't enough uranium in the world to power all the plants it would take to replace a portion of existing fuels. The
That said, I believe that for better or for worse nuclear power generation is here for years to come. It's never been my or Soundkeeper's position to force Millstone to closure. In fact, like it or not Millstone will be needed as natural gas supplies drop over the next several years. This is especially important since the Energy Board
What I want from Millstone is for them to stop killing winter flounder and other marine organisms, period. I want then to install the best technology available for this purpose, closed cycle cooling. The heat from the closed cycle cooling could be captured and used in cooling or heating a combined cycle per se. Whether they have enough land or not I can't address but I can say that everything seems to be impossible until it is required.
Winter flounder populations are down across their range for a number of reasons. One of the reasons and one that can best be controlled are power station intakes. Consider this: If a fisherman takes a sub-legal fish he can be fined up to $50 per fish even if they have a permit to take fish. Yet, Millstone can take millions upon millions of fish at all stages of life with its operating permit. No fines, no penalties.
I understand that power plants need to run and they need water to do that. I don't understand given the technology available why they would need to use once through water continually sucking the life from the sea.
Soundkeeper's action at DEP is not just about Millstone, our efforts would apply to all the plants that take water from the Sound in the coming years. DEP should require closed cycle cooling at all Long Island Sound power plants now and allow the companies a period of time to demonstrate that closed cycle cooling isn't feasible. A license to operate a power plant shouldn't be a license to kill.