In a major victory for environmental advocates, NY State has ruled that outmoded cooling technology at the Indian Point nuclear power plant kills so many Hudson River fish, consumes and contaminates so much water, that it violates the U.S. Clean Water Act.
The plant takes in enormous volumes of river water — 2.5 billion gallons a day, or more than twice the average daily water consumption of all of New York City — and use it to create steam for turbines and to cool the reactors. The water is then pumped back into the Hudson, 20 or 30 degrees hotter.
Sucking so much water causes plankton, eggs and larvae to be drawn into the plant’s machinery, or entrained, and the water pressure also causes fish to be trapped, or impinged, against intake screens, the state said.
The power plant’s water-intake system kills nearly a billion aquatic organisms a year, including the shortnose sturgeon, an endangered species. Additionally, radioactive material has polluted the Hudson after leaking into the groundwater.
Read more about this in the Sunday, April 4 New York Times.