Friday, June 29, 2012

NRC Review Concludes IP Thermal Plume in Compliance

Indian Point

NRC regulations for license renewal environmental reviews establish the primary role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (or States, when applicable) in water quality regulations as they relate to impacts on aquatic species. As such, the assessment of impacts from heat shock is within the purview of the responsible government agency.

In the case of IP2 and IP3, NYSDEC is the responsible agency. NYSDEC regulations at 6 NYCRR Part 704 establish specific standards that apply to thermal discharges within the State of New York. The standards are set to “assure the protection and propagation of a balanced, indigenous population of shellfish, fish, and wildlife in and on the body of water” to which heated water is discharged (6 NYCRR 704.1(a)).

Section of this FSEIS supplement describes the thermal plume studies (Swanson et al. 2010, 2011a) that Entergy submitted to NYSDEC and NYSDEC’s (2011) conclusions regarding these studies. NYSDEC concluded that the results of the thermal plume studies provide reasonable assurance that the IP2 and IP3 discharge is in compliance with NYSDEC’s water quality standards and criteria for thermal discharges.

Based on Entergy’s thermal plume studies and NYSDEC’s conclusions, the NRC staff concludes that the impacts from heat shock to aquatic resources of the lower Hudson River would be SMALL. (NRC)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bill Magwood Tours Indian Point

Bill Magwood, Norris McDonald
Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner Bill Magwood visited the Indian Point nuclear power plant this week and toured the Hudson with Riverkeeper, the reactor's leading opponent. Based on a two-hour visit at the nuclear plant, William D. Magwood, one of the five members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, declared that Indian Point is "operating on a very high standard right now.

Magwood has visited a dozen plants around the country as part of his "personal education" and community outreach efforts. The commissioner praised Indian Point owner Entergy Corp. for taking some "very positive, very forward-leaning" steps by installing new equipment and procedures to deal with emergencies at a level that is not required in its current license.

Magwood's first-ever visit to the 250-acre Buchanan facility included a briefing with local media. Afterward, he and an aide drove to Peekskill's scenic Riverfront Green Park, where they boarded Riverkeeper's patrol boat.  Magwood is the first NRC official to ever go on the water with Riverkeeper.

Indian Point owner Entergy Corp. has filed an application to continue operating the nuclear power plant for another 20 years. The NRC released passing grades to the facility's two reactors earlier this month after an annual inspection. (Newsday, 5/29/2012)