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Millstone News National News

Comprehensive Energy Strategy 2017 Needs to be Revised and Reconsidered

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

Herewith follow comments by the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, which I direct, responding to the draft Comprehensive Energy Strategy 2017 (CES 2017) regarding electricity generation.

(1) The CES misses the boat on clean, green sustainable energy. With wind plentiful off the Connecticut coast, it is shameful that it has not been tapped to replace Millstone and no plans are in place to realize this opportunity. The same goes for wave energy, which in a recent storm event carried off tons of cubic yards of Millstone shoreline, leaving the nuclear site even more exposed to flooding and devastation. Many critical Millstone nuclear components are located in FEMA-identified flood zones and the trend is for accelerating expansion of such zones which could isolate the nuclear station in an emergency, leading to catastrophe. The 500-acre site could easily be converted to a solar/wind/wave energy park but CES has not considered this possibility.

(2) The CES continued reliance on nuclear energy produced at the Millstone nuclear power station is dangerous and dirty and completely unmindful of the operational history of this nuclear power station under its former and current owners (committing federal felonies regarding toxic waste discharges to the Long Island Sound, retaliating against whistleblowers, deliberately disabling its perimeter security system to save costs, creating record discharges of radioactive emissions to the air and water, defying the U.S. Department of Homeland Security directive after September 1, 2001 to install a taxpayer-funded floating barrier to protect the intake structures from catastrophic terrorism, producing ever-increasing tonnage of high-level radioactive waste for which there is no storage solution by means of repeated power “up-rates,” being among only a few of the nastier highlights). Indeed, shortly after September 11, 2001, U.S. Homeland Security identified Millstone as Connecticut’s Number One most dangerous terrorism target. Continued reliance on Millstone electricity defeats the CES goals of achieving clean air, clean water and reliability and security.

(3) Millstone’s production of nuclear energy is not carbon-free. First, such a designation disregards the extraordinary production of greenhouse gases in all the fuel extraction, processing and transport preceding fission at the nuclear station. Equally important, the designation disregards the fact that radioactive carbon-14 – routinely produced and emitted by Millstone round-the-clock to our air and water – is a greenhouse gas.

(4) Permitting Millstone to continue operating defeats the CES goal of increasing energy security. Millstone holds the near-record for SCRAMs – unplanned sudden shutdowns due to equipment malfunctions and/or human error. So many times have we been spared by sheer luck! The next time we may not be so lucky. A Millstone meltdown would be a Northeast-USA-corridor economic, not to mention social and cultural and environmental, meltdown the likes of which has never been seen. Do keep in mind: WINDMILLS DON’T MELT DOWN.

It’s time to bury the “too cheap to meter” nuclear myth and put Millstone to mothballs.

The CES needs to be revised and reconsidered so that more than lip service is paid to the phrases “energy security,” “clean air,” “clean water,” “waste reduction goals.”

Thank you for your attention to these concerns.

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In Loving Memory of Joseph H. Besade

JoeHBesadeMemoriam

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Millstone News

A Look at the Millstone Unit 2 Pressurizer Controversy

View original article on News 8

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Millstone News

Electric Bills Will Rise for CT Ratepayers under Millstone “Bailout” Bill: Study – Tell your State Senator to vote NO!

View the original article in The Day

Report asserts electricity bills would rise if Millstone bill passes

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Millstone News

Fog in Niantic: The good news, bad news and ugly news

On April 6, 2017, deep fog descended on Niantic.

The good news: The view of Millstone was obscured and could not be seen by health-conscious visitors on the Boardwalk.

The bad news: fog creates temperature inversions which trap pollutants, such as Millstone’s routine, continuous radiation releases, close to the ground where people breathe.

The ugly news: Millstone Unit 2 is in its dirtiest period of a refueling outage, releasing greater-than-usual rad waste to the air and water.

View the article in The Day

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Millstone News

No Niantic No!

With apologies to the late, great Chuck Berry (“Johnny B. Goode”)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ROwVrF0Ceg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knvSD1BiNi4&app=desktop

No Niantic No!

We were cruising PA Ave on a picture-perfect day
The ocean waves ahead beckoned us to play
We looked to the east but what did we see?
The radiation stack of M-I-L-L-S-T-O-N-E.
The air seemed clear, the sky was blue, so how could we tell
That tower belched a poison, radiation straight from hell.
We couldn’t help but breathe it as we drove right along
We want YOU to know the truth so we wrote you this song.

Repeating refrain:
No Niantic No!
Say No Niantic No!
Say No Niantic No!
Say No Niantic No!
Say No Niantic No!

We thought we’d take a dip in the water anyway
At the sandy beach on Niantic Bay
But our feet got stuck in the nuclear crud
Buried deep down in the radioactive mud.
For 47 years Millstone’s used the LI Sound
As its toxic radwaste toilet, that’s what we have found
Dominion says Millstone’s squeaky clean but that’s a big lie
Millstone’s dirty and dangerous. It’s making people die.

[Refrain]

By now we were feeling some keen hunger pangs
Thought we’d like some fish -the kind without fangs
The fishmonger said he wouldn’t delay
The catch of the day had just come in from Niantic Bay
There was no one to inspect it so we took him at his word
So we wolfed down cesium-137 – now isn’t that absurd?
The CE-137 attached itself to our internal cells
A Niantic souvenir inside our organs dwells.

[Refrain]
As we gulped down our meal and paid our luncheon bill
We saw the sign posted by the window sill:
“We are sorry to inform you – don’t choke on that bone –
But you have entered the Nuclear Evacuation Zone”
Just like at Fukushima, when it triple-melted down
The government will lie if terrorists come to town
Plan to kiss the ones you love and don’t be left alone
There’s no escape if you reside in Millstone’s N.E. Zone.

[Refrain]
A poster said “Sign here” for Senate Bill 106
Said the bill was a “high electric-rate” fix
But when we read the bill it was full of tricks
Those legislators must think we’re country-bumpkin hicks
The bill is just a giveaway to Millstone’s corporate suits
It would keep that sucker open – Hartford’s in deep cahoots

[Refrain]
Everyone was talkin’ about Millstone’s worst scandal
The cancer and illnesses are more than they can handle
Losing women and children – the tragedy is cruel.
What’s the cause of this – We know – We’re not a fool
We said we have an answer to stop all this cancer:
Tell Dominion “Pack your bags and Go!”
Just pack your bags and GO!

Go Dominion Go!
Say Go Dominion Go!
Say Go Dominion Go!
Say Go Millstone Go!
Say Go Dominion Go!

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Millstone News National News

Millstone Green and Clean? Ha! Dominion Comes ‘Clean’ on Its Website

Dominion is running a propaganda campaign to fool the public into believing its Millstone operations are “green and clean.”

Don’t be fooled! Go to Dominion’s own website to see this forecast of planned airborne radiation releases during April 2017:

On April 2 and 3, Dominion has been “purging” its containment. Translation: Venting to our air its deadly build-up of carcinogenic radioisotopes.

That’s just the start: They’re readying that old, failing nuclear reactor for yet another refueling outage in April. That’s the dirtiest time to be around Millstone 2 – except during an “accident” – because the workers are kept busy releasing and venting and discharging the building-up of toxic radiation to our air and water.

Dominion has to report these inconvenient truths on its website because the CT Coalition Against Millstone persuaded the legislature to pass a law requiring it to do so, the only one of its kind in the country.

Millstone is a dirty, dirty, dirty, antiquated technology to boil water.

Remember: Windmills don’t melt down!

Table 1 (below) provides a schedule of Millstone Power Station’s upcoming airborne batch effluent releases and the associated estimated activities.

millstone radiation releases for April 2017

millstone airborne radiation release chart
Figure 1: Millstone Nuclear Power Station actual and projected monthly batch and continuous airborne effluent releases.
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Millstone News

Some say energy bill not so green: CT Post unpacks truths behind Senate Bill 106

View original article on CT Post

A revised green-energy bill that environmentalists and the AARP believe unfairly favors the owner of the Millstone nuclear plant in Waterford is heading for a showdown vote next week in a key legislative committee.

Opponents say the legislation is essentially a giveaway to Dominion Energy, but the company says Millstone Power Station, which provides about 60 percent of Connecticut’s power needs, fits green-energy criteria and could save ratepayers money.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has some problems with the bill, but is willing to keep revising it with legislative leaders as the session heads toward its June 7 adjournment.

Dominion officials say that if they can’t offer consumers relief from what are already the highest electric rates in the continental U.S., then as many as four levels of state regulators — including the attorney general and the consumer counsel — could reject Dominion.

The bill that the Energy & Technology Committee will vote on Tuesday afternoon was rewritten by legislators following a recent public hearing. John Erlingheuser, advocacy director for the AARP Connecticut, said the bill is still “anti-ratepayer” because it would lead to higher electric bills.

“I think the motive here is Dominion keeps saying this is a bill to allow fairness and to have them provide lower electric rates,” Erlingheuser said in an interview, charging that the giant energy company wants to avoid public disclosure.

“The irony of that is that, as a private company, they have an obligation to their shareholders to get the highest prices they can for electricity, therefore the highest profits,” he said. “It’s basically a giveaway, because if Dominion wanted to have contracts for electricity … with Eversource and UI, they can do that under the law now, but those contracts would have to be in a cost-to-service basis, meaning expenses and a reasonable rate of return would be all they’re entitled to. They don’t want to do that because they want no transparency — they don’t want to open their books to ratepayers.”

Erlingheuser said he expects the committee will move the bill to the Senate floor, as Dominion portrays its product as a non-carbon-emitting nuclear fuel which is not renewable and produces the problematic spent fuel rods that will be stored on the site until the federal government comes up with a long-term storage solution.

Nancy Burton, of Redding, director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, said the plant emits radioactive Carbon 14, a greenhouse-gas component, into the air over the plant.

“I am honestly outraged at the process that the committee is following on this bill,” Burton said, recalling that the recent public hearing was based on a one-sentence description of the legislation. Still, many environmentalists from throughout the state opposed it.

“The idea of the nuclear industry coming in to squeeze out the trivial funding there is for renewable energy, it boggles the mind,” Burton said. “It boggles the mind. the whole process is a travesty — there’s no good reason to do this.”

Kevin Hennessy, Dominion’s director of federal, state and local affairs, said Friday that the bill would continue a long-established practice of public solicitations to buy power, while allowing Millstone to compete along with solar, wind, large-scale hydro from Quebec and other renewables.

“You have the highest retail electric rates in the country,” Hennessy said in a phone interview. “Over the last decade you’ve paid 7 1/2 cents per kilowatt hour, not including delivery charges. We feel extremely confident, if given opportunity to bid, we can reduce the 7 1/2 cents number in the best interest of ratepayers.”

Hennessy said that the DEEP, the attorney general and the consumer counsel would all review proposals, with oversight by the Department of Public Utility Control.

“It’s simply buying power smarter,” he said.

Dennis Schain, communications director for the DEEP, said Friday that the agency, which still has concerns about the bill, would continue to work with lawmakers and stakeholders in attempt to reach a consensus.

“Consideration of the future of Millstone is an issue worthy of discussion, given the large percent of power it contributes to the regional grid, the fact that this energy does not create carbon emissions linked to climate change, and the number of jobs provided at this facility,” Schain said.

“Any bill the legislature considers should clearly define the circumstances under which we would want to use the procurement authority it would provide,” Schain said. “The bill should also make clear that the interests of ratepayers would be fully considered and protected before moving forward with a procurement – including potential impacts a procurement of this magnitude would have on energy markets.”

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Millstone News National News

Vote NO on Senate Bill 106 – on Tuesday, March 21st

Appeal to Energy & Technology Committee Members:
Restore Your Committee’s Integrity
Vote NO on Senate Bill 106

The General Assembly’s Energy & Technology Committee is poised to vote on Senate Bill 106 on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 , at 2 PM .

You must vote NO to restore your Committee’s integrity.

Senate Bill 106 is the product of a dirty backroom deal between the Committee leadership – chiefly Sen. Paul M. Formica – and Dominion, which owns and operates Millstone, New England ’s dirtiest and most dangerous nuclear power plant.

Formica’s Senate district includes Waterford , site of Millstone, which the U.S. Department of Homeland Security identifies as Connecticut ’s first most dangerous terrorist target. It is a pre-deployed weapon of mass destruction, sheltering on its 500-acre site on Long Island Sound thousands of tons of lethal high-level radioactive waste. It is within roughly 50 miles of Hartford, New Haven, Providence RI and most of eastern Long Island where millions of innocent families live.

Formica’s sweetheart deal with Millstone is so dirty he had to develop it in secret with Dominion outside the democratic process.

He called a public hearing on Bill 106 on February 2, 2017 when the bill consisted of one meaningless sentence:

“That title16a of the general statutes be amended to provide a mechanism for zero-carbon electric generating facilities to sell power to electric utilities.”

Even so, statewide opposition to the bill was nearly unanimous. Of the 29 organizations and businesses that submitted statements, Connecticut’s entire pro-environmental community, including the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, voiced fierce opposition to the bill.

A unique coalition from the energy industry, including the state’s biggest suppliers of electricity, voiced fierce opposition to the bill.

Virtually all who voiced support for the bill have some financial or business connection, stated or unstated, to Dominion.

What would the bill that was the subject of the public hearing do?

Hard to say, as the one-sentence bill lacked any substance.

But Formica talked up the one-sentence bill to the news media as a necessary means to assure that Millstone would continue to provide “baseload” (round-the-clock) power to Connecticut.

But Dominion, at the public hearing, insisted it had no plans to shutter Millstone nor remove baseload power from the grid. Nor would it voluntarily open its books to demonstrate to the legislators any kind of economic hardship justifying legislative intervention on its behalf.

Yet, Dominion’s representatives spoke in detail about a bill that consisted of one sentence – the “stealth” bill.

All the while, Formica kept the real bill, doubtless drafted in Dominion’s company, in his back pocket.

Two weeks later, on the eve of the March 14 blizzard, Formica released the contents of the now 12-page single-spaced amended Senate Bill 106 to the news media and announced an Energy and Technology vote on the amended bill – without convening a public hearing on it – a week later, on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 2 PM.

In essence, the amended bill would allow Dominion, the producer of the dirtiest, most dangerous electricity known to mankind, to compete with the fledgling clean-energy producers (chiefly wind and solar) to sell electricity at above-market rates. (Meanwhile, by all accounts, Dominion is making robust profits.) It would allow this without first studying the effects such a dubious giveaway would have on the start-up clean, sustainable energy producers, let alone the inevitable ratepayer squeeze.

Here’s the headline that could have run in the tabloids:

“Formica/Dominion to Connecticut:
Screw clean, sustainable energy!
Screw the ratepayers!
Screw the democratic process!”

In essence, the amended bill provides the classic case of a legislative sweetheart deal inimical to the public interest promoted by a legislator with close ties to the bill’s sole beneficiary, a deep-pocketed corporation.

No wonder Formica kept the details in his back pocket during the public hearing confined to a one-sentence bill.

By the way, CTN, Connecticut’s quasi-public TV network which customarily provides archival video coverage of legislative hearings of important public significance, was told by someone on the Committee that the turnout for the February 2 public hearing was expected to be “minimal,” even though the Committee leadership had hailed the bill for months in the news media as the most important bill of the 2017 legislative season. That’s what a CTN representative told us when we inquired why CTN had no plans to cover the event and could not be persuaded to cover the event. As it happened, the turn-out in opposition to the bill was of standing-room-only capacity.

You, the voting members of the Energy & Technology Committee, must block this brazen anti-democratic act of subterfuge and betrayal of the public trust.

Your failure to do so will frustrate and flummox development of a successful clean-energy economy in Connecticut in favor of a failed, dangerous technology that would not persist but for billions in taxpayer subsidies already paid out.

You must restore the integrity of the Energy and Technology Committee or allow it to be exposed to outside investigation in the public interest.

VOTE NO to Bill 106 on March 21.

Sincerely,

Nancy Burton
Director
Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone
147 Cross Highway
Redding CT 06896
NancyBurtonCT@aol.com

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Millstone News National News

NRC To Hold Annual Millstone Assessment Meeting on March 22nd

NRC to hold Annual Millstone Assessment Meeting

March 22, 2017 at the Waterford Public Library

From 6 pm – 8 pm

MEETING INFO

The meeting will address the NRC’s most recent Millstone assessment letter released on March 13, 2017:

https://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/oversight/letters/mill_2016q4.pdf

The Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee will host the event, which is open to the public. The library is located at 49 Rope Ferry Road in Waterford.
Following a presentation by the NRC and an opportunity for questions by NEAC members, the public is invited to address questions.