Monday, October 15, 2007

Eating Fish Safely, Killing Fish at Millstone

I reported 10 or so days ago that New York and Connecticut were trying to come up with consistent advisories about the safety of eating striped bass and bluefish from Long Island Sound. The Journal News has a follow-up, here.

A Waterford resident named Mike Hessling, who works at a natural gas-fired power plant, takes Terry Backer to task in the New London Day for wanting the operators of the Millstone nuclear power plant to build a cooling tower that kills fewer fish than the cooling system they have now.

He argues that nuclear power is not as cheap to produce as Terry thinks. He also makes a valid point that I'd like to hear more about: He asks why the Soundkeepr is focusing on Millstone and not the other many non-nuke plants on the Sound.

He seems to jump to the conclusion though that this must mean that Backer is somehow a front for the same old anti-nuke groups. I've never asked Terry specifically if he's for or against nuclear power, but from what I know of him I'd be surprised if he's unequivocally against it. The issue of fish being killed by nuke plants is one of the issues that got the Waterkeeper Alliance (which Soundkeeper is a charter member of) its start, back at Indian Point in the 1960s (Waterkeeper Alliance is a descendant of the Hudson River Fisherman's Association, which documented massive fish kills at Indian Point). So I tend totake Terry's opposition to cooling towers that kill a lot of fish at face value.

He also says, essentially, that Soundkeeper should be concentrating on other issues, like controlling contaminated stormwater runoff. This is not only a red herring but it happens to be an issue that Soundkeeper has worked hard on, sponsoring the Smart Sponge program in Norwalk.

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