Chernobyl was a disaster of human error, Fukushima a natural disaster worsened by human error, but this is a whole other situation. The water in Long Island Sound is so warm that even with emergency rules that loosen the safety standards, the Millstone Nuclear Power Station had toshut down one of its units…
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s nuclear power plant has shut down one of two units because water from Long Island Sound used to operate the plant is too hot following the hottest July on record.
Just 2 days ago ‘The Day’ reported that the NRC juggled the numbers to allow the plant to continue operating…
Waterford – Because water temperatures in Long Island Sound have been averaging 1.7 degrees above normal this summer, the Millstone Power Station has been granted an emergency amendment to its license related to cooling water used for Unit 2.
The amendment, issued Friday by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, gives Millstone permission to use an average of three temperatures from three locations to ensure that the water drawn into the plant to cool instruments in the nuclear reactor building and the emergency diesel generators is no higher than 75 degrees. Previously the company was required to use a single measure of the highest temperature.
NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said the agency agreed that taking an average would be a valid way to ensure the temperature was within safety limits. If the water exceeds 75 degrees, Millstone would be required to scale back operations, and if the water reaches 77 degrees, the plants would be required to shut down.
Water that is 77 degrees or higher does not sufficiently cool the plant to keep it within the margin of safety, Millstone spokesman Ken Holt said.
I’ve seen online arguments that a few Chernobyls may be the price we have to pay for stopping the carbon pollution inherent in other forms of energy production. That’s more honest than pretending that human error, acts of nature and unforeseen events will somehow bypass nuclear.
We are in a crisis, I’m feeling three days of exhausting heat and humidity as I write this. But in this crisis we have tools we did not have in the 20th Century, and denial is running out. Conservation, a smart grid, diverse power sources and questioning a ‘lifestyle’ based on geometrically increasing demand for manufactured needs are where we need to start. I don’t see so many Hummers on the road these days, and I’m doing more teleconferencing to save us time and fuel. I’m not very confident in our leaders from either party, this change will have to come from the people.