Times Op-ed: We hope you enjoyed your visit to Millstone Station, Madame Secretary
It’s not every day the Town of Waterford hosts the U.S. Energy Secretary.
Last week, I had the honor of joining U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Congressman Joe Courtney for a tour of Dominion Energy’s Millstone Nuclear Power Station here in Waterford. Millstone was one of several stops the Secretary made while in Connecticut to press for cleaner forms of energy production as the country seeks to achieve 100% clean electricity supplies by 2035.
She underscored the importance of preserving existing nuclear power plants, particularly Millstone — one of only two remaining nuclear power stations in New England, to reach this goal. It made me realize just how important this power station is, not only for the Town of Waterford and the State of Connecticut, but for the New England region and the entire country too.
The visit included discussion about spent nuclear fuel at Millstone. Waterford continues to monitor with great interest the process initiated by the Department of Energy to explore interim storage solutions for spent nuclear fuel using a consent-based approach. This would allow spent fuel stored at Millstone to be moved to interim locations before a permanent repository is completed.
The Town of Waterford filed comments with the Department of Energy encouraging removal of existing and future spent fuel from Millstone and for that to be done with the provision of adequate security at all stages of transportation and sufficient funding to address site-specific needs. Moving spent fuel from Millstone would enable productive reuse of property at the site to invest in further infrastructure that gets us closer to our decarbonization goals. That infrastructure could be equipment to interconnect offshore wind, produce clean hydrogen, or install solar and battery storage.
This year, the General Assembly passed legislation that partially repeals the nuclear moratorium in Connecticut and allows construction of new nuclear power facilities at Millstone. Advanced nuclear technologies, like small modular reactors (SMRs), could play a key role in the clean energy transition. Just ask the Department of Energy, which continues to invest in SMRs to advance the nation’s economic, energy security, and environmental outlook. If SMRs become a viable option at Millstone that would help achieve decarbonization goals and stabilize local revenues. A true win-win.
It was an inspiring day at Millstone. The future is bright, especially when leaders at the federal, state and local level work together to preserve and advance clean, reliable, baseload power and open up avenues to find innovative solutions.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge and thank the amazing workforce made up of so many talented, dedicated people from Waterford and the region. Their efforts allow Millstone to perform this critical role in our state and regional energy delivery system ensuring Millstone stays on line 24 hours a day, every day. We hope you enjoyed your visit to the Town of Waterford, Madam Secretary. You are welcome back anytime.
Rob Brule is Waterford’s First Selectman.