September 23, 2010
by Mark Engebretson
Lake Country Sun
More than 100 people attended the public meeting held by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Tuesday to hear a presentation on the draft environmental impact study regarding the proposed construction of two additional towers at Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant.
With the concerns across the country and in Congress regarding nuclear energy and the potential hazards, that was not the focus of comments at the meeting by elected officials and the public. The concern was water, water that would be needed to cool the towers.
Mike Willingham, the NRC environmental project manager, said the two towers would require 103,000 acre feet of water annually. Of that, 61,600 acre feet would be lost due to evaporation with the balance returned to Lake Granbury, the source.
Ellen Smith, with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, said the Brazos River Authority has reported that lake levels at both Lake Granbury and Possum Kingdom Lake would be modified.
"The EIS does indicate the average lake level at Possum Kingdom would be lower," she said.
The study notes that the lake levels at both Granbury and PK would be affected.
"Possum Kingdom Lake would be full about 34 percent of the time under current conditions and 26 percent of the time with CPNPP Units 3 and 4 operating," reads the study. "Operation of CPNPP Units 3 and 4 would reduce the average water levels by 0.6 feet in Lake Granbury and by 1.5 feet in Possum Kingdom Lake. The water level in Lake Granbury is estimated to fall 2 feet or more below full pool about 10 percent of the time under current conditions and about 25 percent of the time with CPNPP Units 3 and 4 operating. Possum Kingdom Lake water level is estimated to be 5 feet or more below full pool about 10 percent of the time under current conditions and about 25 percent of the time with CPNPP Units 3 and 4 operating."
While the Glen Rose meeting was the only public forum, NRC will still accept public comment by letter, e-mail or fax through Wednesday, Oct. 27.
On the Web, visit www.nrc.gov/public-involve/doc-comment/form.html. The document title, a required entry, is Environmental Impact Statement for Combined Licenses (COLs) for Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant Units 3 and 4.
Mail letters to Chief, Rulemaking and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Service, Mailstop TWB-05-B01M, Washington, D.C. 20555-0001.
The fax number is 301-492-3446.