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Remembering Our Losses

Late last month, we lost our dear friends Judi and Lou Friedman. Judi was a third-grade teacher and author of captivating children’s books about nature when she became a full-time anti-nuclear activist and champion of sane sustainable renewable energy. Judi was Connecticut’s Goddess of Green. Judi founded PACE (People’s Action for Clean Energy), which was all about action: speaking out to the state legislature, writing impassioned letters to the editor and teaming up with the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone to oppose Millstone relicensing and use of the environmentally destructive once-through cooling systems. Lou was a power for peace, stirring minds globally to ban nuclear power and nuclear weapons. He co-founded Beyond Nuclear, the national organization of phenomenal influence. We loved Judi and Lou and their love of life. They inspire us every day. (Visit this site for a fuller tribute shortly.)

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We lost Joe Besade on August 16, 2003. Joe Besade was one-of-a-kind unforgettable. His great heart sent out a powerful flame. Joe was a pipefitter at Millstone who turned whistleblower – a dangerous career path that kept him in peril of death threats. Joe was a key member of Fish Unlimited, which brought litigation to protect the marine environment from Millstone’s profit-driven use of once-through cooling. The case went all the way to the Connecticut Supreme Court, where it will be reheard under another name in September 2016. (Visit this site for more details shortly.) Joe was also the heart and soul of the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, watchdogging Millstone and the NRC with his ever-present video camera. We loved Joe and miss his powerful presence every day.

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And we lost Katie the Goat on August 12, 2012, from cancer. Katie grazed on a farm five miles northeast of Millstone and Dominion sampled her milk. Every sample had elevated levels of radioisotopes. One sample had 55 picoCuries of strontium-90 – a staggeringly high concentration. Katie was a media sensation. Following Katie’s appearance at a press conference on the lawn of the State Capitol, news media pressure forced then-Governor Rell to direct the Department of Environmental Protection to investigate why the milk Katie fed her kids was so heavily contaminated with radioactivity. DEP concluded it was a serious problem – but not Millstone’s problem. Katie went on a farewell tour back to the Hartford Statehouse and on to the White House, where ordinary folks and tourists met Katie, heard her story and wished her well. We loved Katie. The spirit of Katie lives on in her daughter, beautiful Cindy-Lu, and granddaughter, Dana Blue-Eyes, Katie’s lookalike, who participated in a protest at nuclear submarine maker Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut, during a christening of the Navy’s latest attack sub by First Lady Michelle Obama. Every time we gaze upon Cindy-Lu and Dana Blue-Eyes, we think of Katie the Goat and her nuclear whistleblowing.

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On August 10, 2016, a hearing was finally conducted at the Hartford Superior Court on DEP’s reissuance of Millstone’s Clean Water Act permit in 2010, 13 years after it expired. The permit allows Millstone to continue using its once-through cooling system indefinitely. The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone argued the Clean Water Act requires Millstone to convert to a closed cooling system. The Coalition, through its director, Nancy Burton, exposed the collusion between DEP and Dominion early on in the administrative proceedings when, under her questioning, Dominion’s witness admitted Dominion dictated the terms of the permit and directed that “closed cooling” was “off the table.” Rubber-stamper DEP acquiesced. Burton dedicated her remarks at the Hartford Superior Court appeal to the memory of Judi and Lou Friedman, Jose Besade and Katie the Goat.

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Millstone News

In Loving Memory of Joseph H. Besade

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MILLSTONE 2 STRUCK BY LIGHTNING

ZEUS, GREEK GOD OF LIGHTNING, SPEAKS:
MILLSTONE 2 STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
LOSES USE OF 2 OF 4 CRITICAL CIRCULATING WATER PUMPS
ACCORDING TO INITIAL REPORT TO NRC

Millstone Unit 2 remains shut down today after lightning struck the 41-year-old nuclear reactor during a freakish summer storm event on Thursday, August 11.

Operators had to manually shut the nuclear reactor down after noticing the loss of two out of four circulating water pumps, critical to cooling the reactor.

In Dominion’s emergency report to the NRC, the company stated:

“The cause of the circulating water pump trips is currently unknown, but initial indications are that the pumps tripped due to a lightning strike that caused an electrical perturbation.”

“Perturbation” means the act of throwing something into great disorder.

In astronomy, as Zeus would understand, a perturbation occurs when a celestial body deviates from a regular orbit under extraordinary conditions.

Translation: This is serious.

Nevertheless, Dominion waited more than an hour before reporting the trip to the NRC.

Dominion also omitted to state in its notification is customary palaver that no radiation was released to the environment and the public was not endangered by the event.

Any time a nuclear power plant shuts down, it is designed to release “unusual” levels of radioactivity to the air. The recent rains have assured that the burden of radioactivity released by Unit 2 after the lightning strike rained down on the unsuspecting nearby population of families and children.

And that’s serious.