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HazMat?

We have asked the State of Connecticut (Department of Energy and Environmental Protection)(“DEEP”) to test the milk we sampled from Victoria the Goat on May 27, 2019 for the presence of radioactivity.

Victoria (great granddaughter of Katie the Goat) lives in Redding, Connecticut, about 25 miles downwind of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. DEEP is required by state law to monitor the environment downwind of nuclear power plants for buildup of radioactivity, but it has no such monitoring program.

The state’s director of radiation, Jeffrey Semancik, has refused to test Victoria’s milk! He says nuclear reactor licensees are not required by the federal government to test goat milk more than 10 miles from a nuclear power plant. (Debatable.)

Here’s the problem: DEEP is not a nuclear power plant licensee. Its allegiance is supposed to be to the public interest, not the nuclear industry. (Semancik’s prior employer was Dominion; he was a Millstone 3 operator.)

Ironically, Semancik forbid us from sending any more of Victoria’s goat milk samples for DEEP lab analysis. He said if we did they would not be analyzed but would be isolated as “potentially hazardous materials.”

HUH????

Just go test the milk, Jeff. You never know what you may learn.

Readers stay tuned: We are appealing Jeff’s decision to Katie Dykes, DEEP Commissioner.

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Millstone News

Why Connecticut’s DEEP Allows Millstone to Operate with Environmentally Destructive Once-Through Cooling: SCIENCE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT

Posted October 16, 2016

Since 1998, when environmental groups in Connecticut brought a court challenge to DEP’s allowance of “once-through” cooling at the Millstone nuclear power station located on Long Island Sound in Waterford (Fish Unlimited v. Northeast Utilities), DEP’s true motivation has been, so to speak, murky.

Since 1970, when Millstone’s first of three nuclear reactors first went online, the reactors’ once-through cooling systems have been responsible for the slaughter of billions of marine organisms, the release of a relentless 24/7 thermal plume and the discharge of unmonitored volumes of toxic and radioactive waste products to the Sound, which is a protected natural resource under the state’s Environmental Protection Act.

DEP has been empowered during the same period under the federal Clean Water Act to order Millstone to convert to a “closed” cooling system, which would eliminate virtually all of the environmental destruction and pollution of the once-through cooling.

A closed cooling system would eliminate Millstone’s thermal plume, destruction of billions more marinelife due to suction at the intake structures as well as unconscionable contamination of our public waters and public beaches with carcinogenic substances, including long-lived radioisotopes.

The obvious question begging for an answer is: Why has DEP (now “DEEP”) allowed this primitive, technologically-outdated, environmentally destructive cooling system to continue for 46 years – nearly half a century – despite widespread scientific concensus that a closed cooling system is infinitely preferable?

The answer has nothing to do with science.

The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, an intervening party in DEEP proceedings on Dominion’s most recent application to renew its federal permit under the Clean Water Act, exposed the true answer when it examined Dominion’s Director of Electric Environmental Services, Cathy Taylor.

Nancy Burton, the Coalition’s director, questioned Taylor about secret negotiations which she revealed took place between Dominion and DEEP which resulted in DEEP’s issuance of a draft permit which has enabled Dominion to keep operating Millstone’s once-through cooling system for an indefinite period of time (even though the Clean Water Act requires polluters to apply to renew their permits every five years).

Taylor testified that Dominion demanded as the ground rule of the permit negotiations that any consideration that DEEP order Millstone conversion to closed cooling was “off the table.”

As Taylor testified under questioning by intervenor Burton:

Burton: . . . . I gather that the negotiations would not have proceeded unless all the individuals participating had agreed to that [that the draft permit would not contain a determination that Millstone conversion to closed cooling was required under the Clean Water Act] as a ground rule.

Taylor: I believe that is correct.

Burton: And that ground rule was laid out when; the beginning of the negotiations?

Taylor: I don’t recall exactly when it was laid out, and it’s hard to say when you would point to the beginning of the negotiations. But certainly, in one of our early discussions, we indicated that we would not accept changes to that portion of the permit. . . . As I mentioned, going into the discussions for the stipulation, it was a ground rule that was important for us to set. Otherwise, we would not have pursued the negotiations.

Taylor also testified that then-Deputy DEEP Commissioner Amey Marella was present during the secret negotiations and that she acquiesced to Dominion’s demands. (Shortly thereafter, Marella was appointed DEEP’s Commissioner, the agency’s chief.)

Taylor further testified that once the permit was jointly drafted by DEEP and Dominion, the two parties entered into a secret Stipulation which defined and set the stage for the rigged proceedings on the permit which were to ensue and which led to “renewal” of the Clean Water Act permit on terms agreeable to Dominion. Critically, the permit allows Millstone to operate indefinitely with its once-through cooling system.

This testimony recited above is part of the official record, open to public inspection, at the website maintained by the Connecticut Judicial Department, http://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/CaseDetail/PublicCaseDetail.aspx?DocketNo=HHDCV105036261S, in an appeal brought to it by Burton, entitled Nancy Burton v. DEEP, HHD-CV-10-5036261-S. The appeal remains pending.The quoted testimony is taken from Transcripts, Volume 3, Pages 443-468, available for review on the Judicial Department website. It is discussed in more detail in Burton’s Reply Brief, Docket Item #216 (7/18/2016).

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Millstone News

Millstone Presentation Highlights

We thank Jeffrey Semancik, Connecticut’s DEEP Radiation Director who previously operated Millstone Unit 3 and held other senior positions at Millstone, for joining our presentation to the public in East Lyme on September 24. It was titled “Has Millstone Been a Good Neighbor?”

We asked the audience members to decide for themselves if Millstone has been a good neighbor after hearing these and other statistics taken from Dominion’s report of Millstone’s radiation releases to the air and water in 2013, the most recent report available.

AIR:

  • Millstone 3 released radiation to the air in a continuous “containment purge” lasting nearly 3 hours. The containment encloses the nuclear reactor and is Millstone 3’s Ground Zero of intense radioactivity.
  • Millstone Unit 3 released radiation to the air through “containment vents” virtually every single day in 2013, averaging 2-3 hours per vent.
  • Millstone Unit 2 released radioactive batches of air during 57 containment vents for a total of 144 hours – six days!
  • Millstone Unit 1 – which stopped producing electricity in 1995 and confers no public benefit – still vents radioactivity to the air and water and ships plutonium to South Carolina.

WATER:

  • Millstone 3 released 239 batches of radioactive water to the Sound. The longest liquid release lasted 44,600 minutes – that’s 743 hours, over 30 days.
  • Millstone 2 and 3 sucked in 2.2 billion gallons of water per day – that’s 730 billion gallons per year – from the Long Island Sound.
  • Millstone 3 is allowed by Connecticut permit to release water to the Sound 28 degrees hotter than the intake temperature, while Millstone 2 is allowed to release it 32 degrees hotter.

posted September 29th, 2014

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Millstone News

Has Millstone Been a Good Neighbor? Find Out!

The public is invited to a presentation on September 24, 2014 from 6 to 8 PM at the East Lyme Community Center, Chendal Room, 41 Society Road, Niantic. The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone is sponsoring the event. All are welcome!

Topics will include Millstone’s hotter water discharge to the Long Island Sound, Dominion’s routine and unplanned radiation releases to the air and water and its record of radiation monitoring, health effects of Millstone operations, and what you can do.

Special guest: Jeffrey Semancik, career nuclear engineer at Millstone, newly appointed Director of Radiation for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Download the pdf version

Posted September 1, 2014

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Alerts Millstone News Press Releases

DEEP COMMISSIONER SELECTS LONG TIME MILLSTONE WORKER TO HEAD RADIATION PROTECTION

Waterford, CT, July 30, 2014 – A longtime worker at the Millstone Nuclear Power Station is the new head of radiation protection for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone announced today. Jeffrey Semancik, former director of nuclear engineering at Millstone, is DEEP’s Director of Radiation, according to a DEEP announcement issued on June 26, 2014. The appointment by DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee was criticized by Coalition Director Nancy Burton, a longtime anti-nuclear activist. On its face, this appointment is woefully inappropriate, she said.

“DEEP and its predecessor DEP have an appalling record of lackadaisical, hands-off attitude when it comes to Millstone,” Burton said. “This appointment confirms the concerns of many that DEEP is an industry puppet when it comes to Millstone.”

Burton cited the recent repeated failure of radiation monitoring equipment at Millstone Units 2 and 3 as necessitating the appointment of a radiation director who is unquestionably independent and free of industry influence. Mr. Semancik, no matter how hard he tries, will have zero credibility with the public when radiation releases are at issue, Burton said.

Semancik studied at the U.S. Naval Academy before becoming Millstone operations manager in 2009, according to the DEEP announcement.

click here to download the pdf version.