Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Salem Nuclear Plant Problems

Salem Nuclear Generating Station (owned by PSEG) pulls in millions of gallons of biologically rich river water from the Delaware River to use for cooling and electricity generation, discharging cooked marine life and heated water in an environmentally damaging process known as ‘once through cooling’. This technology is outdated and now unlawful, but is allowed by NJDEP to continue.  For decades, environmental groups, including COA, have opposed Salem Nuclear Generating Station’s water usage and the billions of organisms that are killed.  Alternatives using “best available technologies” called closed cycle cooling towers are available and should be required. These use a fraction of the amount of water and practically eliminate discharges. After operating under an expired permit for many years, litigation by the Delaware Riverkeeper forced the NJDEP to issue a new permit which should have required Salem to build cooling towers.  Unfortunately, the draft permit continues the status quo, allowing Salem to continue its water withdrawals and discharges, with no requirement for closed cycle cooling. COA submitted comments opposing NJDEP’s decision. PSEG generates billions of dollars in profits, and can afford the cost of building a cooling tower. Indeed, they just announced a $12 billion infrastructure plan, which fails to include protecting the Delaware River.  If NJDEP does not reverse the decision, a multi-billion corporation will continue to kill billions of organisms each year and further harm the already stressed ecology of this magnificent watershed. For more information visit website.

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