Friday, May 28, 2010

On Indian Point’s Water Permit Situation

This Week In Nuclear’s John Wheeler has an excellent description of the water permit issue going on between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Indian Point nuclear plant:

The NY position on Indian Point is not about protecting the environment; it is about imposing onerous financial burden on the plant to make it less competitive with the end goal of shutting the plant down for good.

Don’t worry, he has facts to back up his statement. For instance:

It is illogical for NY State to object to the use of wedge wire screens [to reduce the plant’s impact on fish] on the basis that the technology is experimental and unproven. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency wedge wire screens have been successfully tested in a variety of settings in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Florida, and Kansas, and on bodies of water including the St John River and the Delaware River in conditions very similar to the Hudson River. In these examples wedge wire screens essentially eliminated impingement and reduced entrainment from 66 to 99%. On the issue of lack of experience at large nuclear plants, from the perspective of the cooling source, the fuel source is irrelevant; steam plants are steam plants. Wedge wire screens have been used at large 770 MW fossil fueled plants. While not quite as large as Indian Point where each of the two reactors is about 1000 MW, the size is in the same ballpark. Keep in mind each unit has it’s own separate intake from the river.

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