Nukewatch Quarterly Summer 2014
BUCHANAN, New York — The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) rejected a proposal by Indian Point reactor owner Entergy in March, calling the company’s plan to lash frozen white sturgeon to its Hudson River water intakes “unnecessary and inappropriate.” Entergy uses billions of gallons of Hudson River water each day to cool its Indian Point generators, and the state of New York in 2003 ordered them to stop, as the practice causes the death of over 1.1 billion fish — including endangered sturgeon — annually.
The State and the environmental group Riverkeeper would like Entergy to invest $1.6 billion in a closed-loop cooling tower system, reducing fish kills by over 98 percent, but Entergy is looking for a cheaper solution. In an apparent effort to study how long an endangered sturgeon would stay pinned by suction to an intake valve, Entergy planned to buy frozen sturgeon from a caviar hatchery, tie them to intake screens, and focus underwater cameras on them for up to three weeks.
NMFS administrator John Bullard called Entergy’s use of the scientific method into question in his response to the proposal, saying that frozen fish would decay differently than fresh fish, and a dead fish tied to a grate would not reflect the behavior of a live, unrestrained fish. The introduction of a non-native species, though dead, could also pose disease and other health risks to native fish populations.
Bullard suggested Entergy use its underwater cameras to study existing, native sturgeon instead.
— Journal News, Apr. 6 & 16, 2014