CONNECTICUT: Warm Seas Force Shutdown Of Nuclear Power Plant
Connecticut's Millstone nuclear power plant has been shut down because the ocean water used to cool the machinery is now too warm to be effective.
Millstone Power Station has occasionally shut for maintenance or other issues, but in its 37-year history it has never gone down due to excessively warm water, spokesman Ken Holt said on Monday. Water from Long Island Sound is used to cool key components of the plant and is discharged back into the sound. The water may not be warmer than 75 degrees and following the hottest July on record has been averaging 1.7 degrees above the limit, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said. The federal agency issued an "emergency license amendment" last week, allowing Millstone, a subsidiary of Dominion Resources Inc., to use an average temperature of several readings. "It wasn't enough to prevent us from shutting down," Holt said. Richmond, Va.-based Dominion does not have an estimate of when the unit will restart, Holt said.The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the only remedy is to wait until the ocean cools down. The plant provides 50% of Connecticut's electrical supply, but remains partially in operation. (Tipped by JMG reader Kevin)