Responsible Pollution Control

(Stuff last added or changes made on November 8, 1996)

Recently I was talking to my neighbor (a research chemist at a prestigious university) and made a statement about pollution from the Oyster Bay Nuclear Reactor and its effect on fishing. Quoting from a long ago read newspaper article, I said that "if Barnegat Bay were sealed off from all sources of water and the cooling water were discharged into the ocean, the power plant would pump the Bay dry in six hours. Further every six hours the cooling water is given a strong dose of chlorine to keep the cooling tubes from plugging with algae."

He scoffed at my figures. (Some nerve huh? Questioning me.) "Okay," I said to myself, "I'll just have to prove it." A couple calls to the power plant and to the Ocean County Planning Board and it turns out I was half right.

It would take 38 days to pump the Bay dry. (see figures below) Mea Culpa. Another example of just blindly accepting what's printed as gospel truth.

But they do dose the tubes with chlorine.

Chlorine is an EXTRAORDINARILY TOXIC poison. Like Brylcream ("a little dab'll do ya!"), it goes a very long way when it comes to killing things. It's my contention that the chlorine injections from the Power Plant is a/the main culprit why the Bay has had no (significant) recruitment of clams or scallops (what used to be two pretty fair sized local fisheries) in more than 30 years. The chlorine kills not only the algae but any microscopic seed and/or food in the water too, effectively sterilizing it.

At any rate it got me thinking, we need the power, and we need the clams, so how can we co-exist. And why don't we?


How can we co-exist? Well we could build a cooling basin/tower and recycle the cooling water. I did some VERY ROUGH calculations and came up with a number of about a half cent per kilowatt cost (See the figures below) to recycle the cooling water which would contain the killing chlorine and the thermal pollution (another killer).

A 4% direct increase in the cost of electricity to protect our environment? Could society in good conscience resist that?

Why don't we do it?

Another approach

Let's look at another approach. How about if government said to business - "Look, the Eco's have a point here, and you're right too, we need the electricity. So here's what we're gonna do:"

Now everybody's happy (sort of).

Extending it Out

How about if we applied the same principle to other industries? Paper plants are huge users of chlorine as well, chemical factories bring their own set of pollution problems, coal burning power plants, ........

If you take a closer look at most of the major polluters, you'll find they are almost all high volume producers of product(s) (kilowatts, reams, gallons, pounds, bushels, ......).

If we could lend them the money to construct mechanisms for pollution abatement, we would ALL benefit.

The Schmoo

The Commercial Fishing Industry could even pay its own way. No need for government bonds. We could issue our own loans. Currently there is an import tariff (Saltonstall Kennedy Funds) on seafood that's rumored to be in excess of $250 million a year. (If NMFS really knows how much it really is, they're keeping it a close secret - in violation of the law ..... but that's another rant(s) {grin}).

Let's just, for the sake of argument, say we could divert that 250 mil from the voracious deproductive maw of NMFS and the University grant system (see Scientific Evidence or List 1 Anal Orifi)

We could fund 25 $10,000,000 (or 25,000 $10,000, or ....) pollution abatement projects every year. I maintain that would do more to restore ocean productivity in one day than 20 years of totalitarian government management have. After all, you don't need a hellava lot of production gain to match theirs, 30 or 40 bucks oughtta do it. And that's before cost of management.

And on top of that, because we don't have to go to the financial market for the money, we'd only need to charge 3.5% interest per year to protect future buying power, bringing the cost down to about a 1/4 cent per kw hour charge, or maybe a 2.5% increase in electricity bills.

Because there are no bond holders to repay, after a very few years, as the repayments roll in , a huge revolving fund gets built to the point of being self financing. Presuming the pols, academics and other busybody types aren't allowed to divert it into academic pork barrels ("studies") .

Could it work? Sure. Some problems setting it up, but none that are insurmountable to men of good will.

Basic calculations used

The effect of closing off all water supply to Barnegat Bay and discharging the cooling water to Oyster Creek plant elsewhere (the ocean?) 640 Acres in a square mile 75 Square miles of Bay (OC Planning Board) 50,000 Acres in Bay 3.5' Average depth in Bay (OC PB) 325,856 Gallons per Acre foot 167,998 Acre Feet of water in Bay 4,743,209,240 Gallons in Bay 1,440 Minutes in a day 1,000,000 gals per minute Cooling water (chlorine injected) 38.02 days to pump Bay dry Oyster Creek Plant 650 Megawatts per day capacity 650,000 Kilowatts per day capacity (Note - usually runs at 95%+ capacity) 50% Plant utilization (conservative estimate) (allows for shutdowns, maintenance, etc.) 118,625,000 Kw per year @ 50% output $53,885 Per $1,000,000 annual Amortization for 30 years @3.5% $84,671 Per $1,000,000 annual Amortization for 30 years @7.5% (Provided so you can do your own math for different size projects.) $7,000,000 Cost of Basin/Cooling tower $592,699 Annual Amortization 30 yrs @7.5% $0.0050 Per kilowatt cost $0.13 Current KW retail cost in NJ 3.84% Increase in Utility bill if we spend the same relative amount in *ALL* plants in the country.


No one should infer the power plant scenario is ONLY polluter in the Bay, or even the worst one. I don't mean to imply that at all. Residential development (or outboard motors or .... pick your own villain here) I suspect plays an even greater role in the degradation/decline of fisheries. A little imagination can make the financials fit almost any other point source of pollution.

{End of " Responsible Pollution Control "}

This document is Copyrighted by G. H. Lovgren. It may not be reproduced in whole or in part without this copyright notice.

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