Vermont Yankee’s Flawed Thermal Discharge Science

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On March 30, 2006, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) issued a “thermal variance” to Vermont Yankee’s existing permit. The variance authorized Vermont Yankee to increase the temperature of waste effluent discharged into the Connecticut River. (link)

The discharge of hot water like at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant poses a serious threat to river ecology. Heating up the river confuses, weakens, and disrupts fish, which look to changes in water temperatures to migrate or breed.  Of particular concern is the impact of increased temperature on migratory fish such as American shad and Atlantic salmon.

Vermont Yankee is allowed to bypass its cooling towers thanks to a permit from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.  But the permit expired in 2006. Experts have found that the studies Entergy provided to the state for the permit are based on flawed science. 

You can read an easy-to-digest summary of the issues (PDF 50KB) or the more technical analysis of VY flawed Science…

The Reports

The reports are highly technical, but if you want you can download:

Critique of Entergy’s temperature compliance by HydroAnalysis, Aug 2012 (PDF 5MB)
Critique of Entergy’s computer modeling by HydroAnalysis, Feb 2012 (PDF 2.2MB)
Analysis of the narrow wildlife focus by Midwest Biodiversity Institute, Feb 2012 (PDF 0.5MB)
Report on the most current and ecologically sound way to determine thermal impaccts on fish , by Midwest Biodiversity Institute, May 2012 (PDF 0.8MB)
A legal analysis of the issues by the Environmental & Natural Resources Law Clinic at Vermont Law School (275KB)

Take Action

Tell your State Representatives to attend the Congressional Briefing on Nuclear Sep. 20th

Sign the petition Add your voice demanding that Entergy stop using the River as a dump and instead use their cooling towers to better protect the Connecticut and the fish and wildlife that depend on its cool waters. Don’t like signing things online? Contact us and we’ll mail you a postcard to make your feelings known.

Also see post from April 2011 – Vermont Yankee Violating Fed. Water Quality law, VT anti Degradation Policy and Vermont’s Open Meetings and Open Records Law

More information http://www.ctriver.org/programs/advocacy/thermal_pollution/index.html

6 thoughts on “Vermont Yankee’s Flawed Thermal Discharge Science

  1. Water discharge is but one way radioactivity and or heat “leaks” from reactors and the entire Industry knows it, why do you think the “smoke stacks” are so tall?

    With todays technology we should be informed (with actual data, not just “below threshold” B$ language) about any and all radioactivity or heat that escapes from reactors or their complexes…

    The only safe source of information about radiation is that which you get from personal Geiger counters, you might consider using something like an iRad http://is.gd/WmFEep and begin to form your own Rad network to monitor VT Yankee yourself with them!

    BTW: Here is a great article about how the industry keep things “quiet” in Japan, a practice I expect to see ever more of here in the USA… http://www.japansubculture.com/?p=5397

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