June 28, 2013 / 7:26 PM / 6 years ago

NRC seeks data on running Connecticut reactors in warmer water

June 28 (Reuters) - U.S. nuclear regulators asked Dominion Resources for more information about the company’s plan to continue running the Millstone nuclear plant in Connecticut when water in the Long Island Sound is warmer than the plant’s current permit allows.

Dominion in May submitted an application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) seeking a change in the water intake temperature limit from 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit for both Millstone reactors.

The 2,102-megawatt (MW) Millstone is located along the Long Island Sound in Waterford, about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Hartford, the state capital. Together, two Millstone reactors can generate enough power for more than 2 million homes in New England.

As part of its review, the NRC asked the company to provide more information about the plant’s heat exchangers, pipes and backup diesel generators, among other things, by July 3, 2013.

“The company is seeking the change because of a long-term trend of warming water in the sound that peaked last summer, when the (869-MW) Unit 2 had to shut down for three weeks when the water temperature exceeded 75 degrees,” Dominion said.

The cooling water intake pipes for the 1,233-MW Unit 3 draw water from a colder, deeper part of the sound that did not exceed the current temperature limit, the company said.

Dominion said the NRC expects to make a decision on the application next year.

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