Millstone Looking to Combat Record-High Water Temperatures

The Waterford nuclear power plant is asking the NRC to allow it to use warmer water to cool its reactors as the water temperature of Long Island Sound hit a record high this past year.

Millstone’s Unit 2 nuclear reactor was shut down for 12 days after the water temperature in Long Island Sound rose above 75 degrees, which regulators deem too warm to properly cool the reactor.

That was the first time the water in Long Island Sound was measured to be that warm, according to Millstone Spokesman Ken Holt in a previous interview with Patch. Now, Dominion, owner of Millstone, is asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to allow it to use warmer water to cool its reactors, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile the head of the NRC has asked for a review of climate change impacts on nuclear plants nationwide, according to the AP. This was the first time since Millstone opened in 1970 that the water in Long Island Sound had a temperature above 75 degrees, a temperature buoyed by a warm winter, Holt said in a previous interview with Patch.


Millstone uses water from Long Island Sound to cool its two reactors. The NRC has deemed that water above 75 degrees is too warm to cool either reactor.

The Unit 3 reactor takes in deeper water, which is colder, and stayed open in August. But Unit 2 takes water closer to the surface, and that water was deemed too warm to cool the reactor by the NRC.

Now Millstone must provide “a lot of calculations” showing that the reactors could be cooled with water above 75 degrees, according to the AP. Other power plants in the country use water warmer than 75 degrees to cool their reactors, according to the AP.

The warm water temperature was accredited to a warm winter last year, along with a hot summer, according to the AP. The winter is much colder this year, and so is the water in Long Island Sound, according to the AP.

Ron February 19, 2013 at 02:50 PM
Molloy will be mad if Unit 2 shutsdown because he is taxing ever CT resident 42 million ( $ 42,000,000) extra for electricity from Millstone so he can hire more state union workers and give $ 300,000,000 to Jackson Labs as a downpayment and eventually $ 1,200,000,000 to produce a theoretical 30-300 phantom jobs (which like Solyndra will never happen) whereas Millstone has 1,200 REAL jobs. The State of CT already has stated it has 5-10 Solyndra jobs even though Solyndra has not broken ground yet (waiting for more money). The only bigger high paying job producer other than Millstone is the 46,000 State union jobs and 60,000 State retirees. But of course State workers are more valuable and not replaceable and have higher education and job skills than nuclear engineers and thus need to be paid higher. There is absolutely no Millstone engineer with 20 years service that receives a pension and guaranteed medical benefits and cost of living increases as high as the AVERAGE State union worker with 20 years. Also if you look at the highest 1,000 State of CT pensions which is public record on the internet you will discover that no engineer in America at any level gets the $ 260,000 CT pays its UCONN retirees. Thus if Millstone has to shut down for warm water, it will force another tax hike to equal the $ 43,000,000 Molloy now forces on every CT electric user. The State is praying for a cold summer...and so should every CT electric user.
xsailor8 February 19, 2013 at 06:41 PM
If millstone needs cooler water for unit 2 they should extend their intake to the same area where unit 3's intake is located. Unit 3 wasnt forced to shut down. These plants werent engineered for warm intake water. In the 1960s-1970s global warming and rising ocean temps were not factored into these reactors designs.
Lynn Cynar February 19, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Absolutely. Move the intake. Why risk it?
CitizenWatch February 20, 2013 at 12:03 AM
Does it really matter? Millstone will eventually shut down because they won't be making money. There already making moves in VA. Malloy and the other democrats will just tax them out of business. This is what connecticut citizens want right? You voted these guys........
Kathleen Fugett February 20, 2013 at 01:30 AM
I agree - don't allow any deviation that could ultimately put people's lives at risk. If you have to move the intake for Unit 2 then do so.


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