Connecticut’s environmental agency has taken another step towards renewing a permit for the Millstone Nuclear Power plant.
Millstone Nuclear Power Plant in Waterford is operating with a water discharge permit that dates back about 12 years and that has been extended on an emergency basis. Several environmental groups have objected to the permit and have intervened. One of their biggest concerns is the amount of water withdrawn from Niantic Bay to cool the generators . Roger Reynolds of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment says Millstone withdraws and then discharges more than 2 billion gallons of water a day in and out of the Sound.
“When they withdraw that water the very rich marine life that’s in Long Island Sound, gets withdrawn too and all the marine life that’s gets killed and then what’s discharged is really a dead heated effluent. There are now cooling systems available and these are required in all new plants, that recycle the water.
Reynolds says by recycling water the plant could cut the amount withdrawn from the Sound by as much as 95% . Under the proposed agreement reached by the DEP, The Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Soundkeeper and Dominion Nuclear Connecticut Millstone would be allowed to continue to withdraw water . But it would also be required, by 2012, to determine the best new technologies to minimize environmental impacts. Now a DEP Deputy Commissioner will decide whether to issue the permit under the negotiated conditions. Other groups, including the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone did not sign onto this agreement.
For WNPR, I'm Nancy Cohen.