Friday a reactor tripped off, and NRC got around to telling us about it today: Millstone 3, 3.2 miles WSW of New London, Connecticut, about half way between Boston and New York. I hear a few people live around there. That’s its second downtime in six months. Why is nuclear considered reliable baseload? Distributed solar power wouldn’t all be down at once, and wouldn’t risk irradiating millions of people.
California and Texas ahead of Georgia in solar power, sure, but Maryland and Massachusetts, small and far to the north with less sun? Does that seem right to you?
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Georgia should be number 5. Georgia should be moving up the rankings as fast as any state except maybe Arizona or Colorado, according to an Arizona State University study of two years ago that said Georgia was third among state that would benefit from solar deployment through generating and exporting energy to other states. The U.S. as a whole keeps installing far more solar power each year, but Georgia Power and Southern Company keep holding Georgia back.
It’s great that Valdosta will soon get 2 more megawatts of local solar power. But while we’re waiting for Georgia Power to slowly get around to doling out 277 megawatts over several years, New Jersey has 1,000 megawatts already installed. Georgia is #22, behind #21 Connecticut. Why do we let that continue?
Ever heard of solar panels or windmills shutting down due to heat? Me, neither. Nuclear plants, yes, such as Millstone unit 2 in Connecticut, closed for two weeks.
AP wrote today, Conn. nuclear plant unit reopens with cooler water
Millstone Power Station spokesman Ken Holt said Monday that Unit 2 returned to 100 percent power Saturday. It shuttered Aug. 12 after record heat in July contributed to overheated water from Long Island Sound.
Water is used to cool key components of the plant and is discharged back into the sound. The water's temperature was averaging 1.7 degrees above the 75-degree limit.
The temperature has since dropped to 72 degrees, Holt said.
"The water temperature cooled sufficiently to support operations and that, combined with the weather forecast, has given us the confidence to restart," he said.
Wait, wasn't the whole point of big distributed baseload power plants supposed to be reliable dependable power?
Millstone provides half of all power in Connecticut and 12 percent in New England.
Some scientists believe the partial Millstone shutdown was the first involving a nuclear plant pulling water from an open body of water. A few nuclear plants that draw water from inland sources have powered down because of excessively warm water.
Time to think again! Distributed solar and wind power doesn't have this problem, and a smart grid can get their power where it's needed.