Big crowd packs Millstone meeting Monday night

Anti-nuclear activist Nancy Burton of Mystic, right, speaks as Dan Weekley, left, vice president of governement affairs for Dominion, looks into the crowd Monday night at Waterford Town Hall. Millstone Power Station officials were meeting with members of the public to discuss safety issues, comparisons to the nuclear disaster in Japan and possible ramifications from proposals to raise state taxes on Millstone.
Anti-nuclear activist Nancy Burton of Mystic, right, speaks as Dan Weekley, left, vice president of governement affairs for Dominion, looks into the crowd Monday night at Waterford Town Hall. Millstone Power Station officials were meeting with members of the public to discuss safety issues, comparisons to the nuclear disaster in Japan and possible ramifications from proposals to raise state taxes on Millstone.

Waterford - Several members of a packed crowd sought assurance from executives giving a presentation about the Millstone Power Station Monday night that owner Dominion will put spent fuel from one shuttered reactor into safe dry storage on the site.

Skip Jordan, site vice president, and Dan Weekley, Dominion vice president of governmental affairs, spent an hour first discussing safety and a proposed tax on electric production at Millstone before fielding questions about the used fuel that sits in Unit 1, a boiling water reactor not unlike those at the badly damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi station in Japan.

Millstone's two operating reactors, which are pressurized water reactors, are safer, Jordan said, because they have primary and secondary cooling systems to keep the plants cool.

But Nancy Burton, a Mystic resident speaking on her own behalf and not in her role as director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, wanted to know why Dominion isn't moving the spent fuel from Unit 1 immediately into an alternate type of storage known as dry cask storage.

John Markowicz, executive director of the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region and a Waterford resident, echoed her concern.

"What's the chance of the spent fuel being moved" if the bill to tax Millstone goes through, he asked.

Jordan said the company is evaluating moving that fuel so that it is no longer housed above the reactor, where it is more vulnerable, but he and Weekley noted that if the tax is approved it will make it more difficult to invest in safety improvements like that.

The meeting was still going on at 8:45 p.m. at Waterford Town Hall.

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