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MILLSTONE NUCLEAR POWER STATION

Image of Millstone Nuclear Power Plant.

Millstone Nuclear Power Station in Waterford, CT is situated on Long Island Sound and generates approximately half of Connecticut's net electricity generation (2,103 megawatts of power in 2014). Nuclear power plants produce electricity by heating water using nuclear fission to produce steam. All nuclear plants need to use water as a cooling agent.

Since 1975, Millstone has used a “once-through cooling system” that takes in 2 billion gallons of water per day from LI Sound—enough to fill 110,000 swimming pools. The water is sent through condenser tubes, and then discharged into the Sound at higher temperatures-as much as 40°F warmer. In addition to the thermal pollution, Millstone’s outdated cooling technology has taken a serious toll on the Sound’s fisheries. This system kills large quantities of aquatic life. Documented from 1976-2003, Millstone has killed more than 159 billon larvae, eggs, juveniles, and adult fish for the seven fish species recorded. Mortalities from the archaic cooling system result from one of three ways:

  • Entrainment – the capture of aquatic organisms with the cooling water through the intake;
  • Impingement – the fatal pinning of organisms too large to fit through the mesh screens; or
  • Thermal shock from the elevated temperatures altering habitat and fish migration patterns in Long Island Sound.

Image of a flounder.

Closed-Cycle Cooling is the Solution!

Millstone Nuclear Power Station in Waterford, CT is situated on Long Island Sound and generates approximately half of Connecticut's net electricity generation (2,103 megawatts of power in 2014). Nuclear power plants produce electricity by heating water using nuclear fission to produce steam. All nuclear plants need to use water as a cooling agent. Approximately 40% of our nation’s nuclear plants (42 out of 104 units) already operate with closed-cycle cooling systems, and so can Millstone!

As authorized by the Clean Water Act (CWA), utilities are required to use the Best Technology Available to adequately protect our waterways, including the Long Island Sound. Despite this, Millstone's operators have refused to update their cooling system, stating that the necessary upgrades would be too costly to be economically feasible. The facility's five year discharge permit is set to expire in 2015, and could take years to be approved for renewal by federal regulators. CCE strongly supports requiring closed-loop cooling as a prerequisite to Millstone's discharge permit renewal.


Licensed to Kill: How the Nuclear Power Industry Destroys Endangered Marine Wildlife and Ocean Habitat to Save Money

Updated by lburch 7/22/15