There are CO2 Releases Throughout the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

Millstone Nuclear Power Plant, Waterford, CT


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In this newspaper, I have read the claim from many that Millstone nuclear power stations a zero-carbon emitter. This is a false claim in many aspects, and I request the paper not to print such claims without a corrective comment.

Radioactive carbon 14 is released up the stack; however, this is not a source of concern here. (Solely in consideration of carbon release as it is minuscule.) The planet doesn’t care where CO2 emissions originate. The warming effect is the same regardless of geographic origin.

There are CO2 releases throughout the nuclear fuel cycle. Mining, milling, fuel fabrication, fuel transportation, and fuel enrichment all pump CO2 into the atmosphere. Fuel enrichment for US plants (Roughly 90% of it.) is primarily done in former Soviet Union countries using coal as the prime energy source. One not so obvious source of CO2 emissions is a simple fact: Millstone runs off of the grid. The grid is not zero carbon.

Additionally, it takes people, lots of people to operate the plants,–all driving-emitting CO2- in and out of the plant. One day, I stood outside the plant’s gates and asked drivers their estimates of how many vehicles went in and out of the plant each day. The average reply was about 1500 vehicle trips, with more during refueling. Millstone zero-carbon- I don’t think so.

P.S. Will a reporter please ask Dominion Nuclear Connecticut LLC, Inc. for a copy of its electric bill and post it here.

Tom McCormick
West Hartford