posted: January 4, 2017
Energy and Technology Committee Environment Committee
Legislative Office Building Capitol Avenue
Hartford CT 06106
Re: Millstone Bailout
Dear Honorable Members of the Energy and Technology Committee and the Environment Committee:
I write on behalf of the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, as its director, concerning current efforts by the owner and operator of the Millstone nuclear power station (Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc.) to achieve an economic legislative bailout.
Such a bailout would put responsible clean/renewable energy producers to a substantial economic disadvantage and harm Connecticut’s consumers at the same time.
At this writing, Dominion’s proposal has not yet been made public. Once the proposal has been made available to the public, we urge you to convene a public hearing at which you will direct Dominion to release financial records of the nuclear plant operations which the company maintains support its proposal and that you and members of your staffs will be fully prepared to closely examine Dominion’s representatives on this point.
Please recall that Dominion’s predecessor-in-interest, Northeast Utilities, successfully lobbied the then-Department of Public Utility Control and the General Assembly to “deregulate” its nuclear generation and marketing. With deregulation, Connecticut gave up its oversight role which had included mandatory annual reviews which protected ratepayers and promoted safety. If Dominion now wants a bailout because it believes Millstone operations are not sufficiently profitable under deregulation, Dominion should be amenable to a resumption of a vigorous oversight role by the State of Connecticut as previously carried out by the DPUC.
Further at the upcoming hearing on the proposed bailout, we request that you direct Dominion to thoroughly address the following critical current issue:
Why Millstone Unit 2 should not be shut down immediately in light of recent revelations that defective parts critical to nuclear safety as manufactured by AREVA, a French Company, were installed at Unit 2. Unit 2’s pressurizer, manufactured by AREVA, has been identified as potentially defective and prone to catastrophic failure. The pressurizer is a key component in the reactor coolant system. 1
The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone was founded in 1998 to serve as a community watchdog and to engage the public in education on nuclear issues. We have brought to light numerous failures of nuclear safety and security at Millstone, including NU’s “loss” of two highly radioactive spent fuel rods (never recovered), Dominion’s deliberate disabling of its security perimeter fencing after 9-11 to save money, Dominion’s refusal to accept a taxpayer-funded set of waterborne barriers to deter terrorists from the nuclear reactors’ intake structures (notwithstanding a directive to do so by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security), the presence of high levels of strontium-90, strontium-89, cesium-134 and cesium-137 – all carcinogens – in dairy goats grazing five miles northeast of Millstone, and the discovery of a radioactive fish in Niantic Bay, among many others. We were instrumental in the passage of P.A. 08-20 (C.G.S. §22a-135(c)) requiring Dominion to post on its website notice in advance of planned radiation releases from Millstone to the air. On December 13, 2016, the Coalition’s campaign to stop Millstone’s 24/7 discharge to the Long Island Sound of toxic and radioactive materials and a thermal plume won a landmark victory in the Connecticut Supreme Court, Burton v. Commissioner, 323 Conn. 668.
Thank you for your attention to these serious issues.
1 See, e.g., “Anti-nuclear group [Beyond Nuclear]: Defective parts warrant shutdown of Millstone, other plants” (The New London Day, December 22, 2016)