to informing the public to the dangers associated with generating electricity
with Nuclear Power Plants.
The UNPLUG Salem Campaign was formed
in 1995, during the period when the two Salem New Jersey Nuclear Plants were
shut down for repairs. The original aim of the Campaign was to convince PSE&G,
the owner-operator of the two plants, to keep the two nuclear plants closed. The
Campaign now focuses on getting the plants shut down as soon as possible, and
also focuses in trying to stop the killing of billions of fish and marine life
by the plants. The UNPLUG Salem Campaign also acts as a nuclear safety and
public health watchdog organization. In addition, the Campaign promotes
alternatives to electricity produced by nuclear power and dirty coal.
Alternatives such as conservation, efficiency, solar, wind, wave, thermal,
biomass and others.
We invite you to check out the
latest news from UNPLUG and get involved. Take some time and check out our
pages, follow links to other organizations and see what they have to offer. Join
us. No one should ever blindly believe and follow, educate yourself and decide,
our environment, our health, our lives. Its up to us all.
Contact - Norm Cohen - 609-335-8176
Need Adobe Reader for .pdf
files, click here
for Renewable and Efficiency
No: I-14-009 March 18, 2014
CONTACT: Diane Screnci, 610-337-5330
Neil Sheehan, 610-337-5331
NRC Schedules Open House for March 27 to Discuss
Performance of Salem, Hope Creek Nuclear Power Plants
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will conduct an open house on Thursday,
March 27, to discuss the agency’s annual review of safety performance at the
Salem and Hope Creek nuclear power plants.
During the open house, scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. at the PSEG Energy &
Environmental Resource Center, at 244 Chestnut St. in Salem, N.J., members of
the public will be able to hold one-on-one discussions with NRC staff regarding
the plants’ performance in 2013, as well as the agency’s oversight plans for the
facilities this year. NRC staff in attendance will include the NRC Resident
Inspectors assigned to the plants on a full-time basis and their supervisor.
Under the NRC’s Reactor Oversight Process, color-coded inspection findings
and performance indicators are used to assess plant performance. (Performance
indicators are statistical measurements of plant and equipment performance
which, if exceeded, trigger additional NRC oversight.) The colors range from
green, connoting very low safety or security significance, to white, yellow or
red, for an issue of high significance.
Overall, the Salem and Hope Creek plants -- located in Hancocks Bridge (Salem
County), N.J., and owned and operated by PSEG Nuclear LLC -- performed safely
during 2013. At the conclusion of last year, as assessed by the NRC’s Reactor
Oversight Process, there were no performance indicators for the plants that were
other than "green" (very low risk) and no inspection findings that were "greater
than green" (that is, none of the findings exceeded very low safety
significance). As a result, Salem and Hope Creek will continue to receive the
NRC’s normal level of oversight during 2013, barring any changes.
The normal level of oversight consists of a detailed regime entailing
thousands of hours of inspection. In 2013, the NRC devoted approximately 5,700
hours of inspection at Salem and approximately 5,900 hours at Hope Creek
"We take very seriously the task of stepping back on a regular basis to size
up plant performance. These comprehensive evaluations help guide our reviews for
the year ahead, though we maintain flexibility should conditions change," NRC
Region I Administrator Bill Dean said. "Salem Page | 2
and Hope Creek, by virtue of their performance in 2013, will receive our
routine – though still substantial – battery of inspections."
The NRC issues reports on performance at each plant twice a year: during the
mid-cycle, or mid-point, of the year, and at the conclusion of the year.
Inspection findings and performance indicators are also updated on a quarterly
basis on the agency’s website. Following the release of the Annual Assessment
letters each March, the NRC meets with the public in the vicinity of each plant
to discuss the results.
Normal inspections are carried out by the two Resident Inspectors assigned to
Salem and the two Resident Inspectors assigned to Hope Creek. Reviews are also
performed at the sites by specialist inspectors assigned to the agency’s Region
I Office in King of Prussia, Pa. Among the areas to be inspected this year at
Salem are the plant’s radiological safety program and control room operator
exams, while at Hope Creek they will include permanent plant modifications and
heat sink performance. The NRC will also evaluate a hostile action-based
emergency exercise in May involving Salem and Hope Creek and the implementation
of an industry initiative to monitor the condition of underground piping at both
The Annual Assessment letters for Salem and Hope Creek, as well as the
meeting notice for the March 27th
open house, are available on the NRC website. Current performance information is
also available for Salem 1, Salem 2 and Hope Creek.
Re: Status of New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination
System (NJPDES) Permit Renewal
PSEG- Salem Generating Station
Lower Alloways Creek, Salem County
PDF/DEP Response to Salem letter 3 14 14.pdf
Fukushima 3 years later
Plant Started !!!
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Three industrial facilities on the Delaware River are consuming huge
amounts of water and killing billions of fish each year under expired
state permits. Today we took legal action to force these plants to
reduce their impacts on the Delaware River as part of the campaign to
Stop the Delaware River Fish Kills.
The Delaware River is an essential habitat for a wide variety of fish,
water fowl, and other aquatic animals and plants and we need your help
to protect this local wildlife!
The Salem Nuclear Plant, the Mercer Generating Station, and the
Delaware City Refinery each use outdated once through cooling systems
which trap and kill fish as water is sucked in to cool the plant and
then release polluting, super-heated water back into the Delaware.
Each year Salem kills 3 billion fish, larvae, and eggs, Mercer
slaughters 70 million and the Delaware City Refinery destroys over 45
million. Together the 3 facilities extract close to 4 billion
gallons of water a day from the Delaware.
The Clean Water Act requires these plants to limit their impacts but
each facility is operating under an expired permit for its cooling
system that fails to impose essential limits. Today the Sierra Club
joined Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Delaware Audubon, New Jersey
Environmental Federation, and other coalition partners to take action to
legally force New Jersey and Delaware to issue updated permits for the
Now we need your help:
Write to NJ Governor Chris Christie and DE
Governor Jack Markell urging them to require new
permits for each facility that will better protect our fish and aquatic
Cooling towers are standard equipment on modern power plants. They
reduce the amount of water taken into the plant, and cool the remaining
water that comes out of it, which results in reduced fish kills and a
healthier and more diverse river ecosystem. Modernizing cooling
systems at older power plants like Salem, Mercer, and Delaware City
Refinery will create jobs and net environmental benefits could be as
high as $18 billion per year nationwide.
Email Gov. Christie & Gov. Markell today
and urge them to STOP the Delaware River Fish Kills by issuing new
permits for these facilities that requires an immediate upgrade to
closed-cycle cooling systems!
Conservation Program Coordinator
May 16, 2013
Bob Martin, Commissioner
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Re: Salem NJPDES Renewal Permit Application
Letter in PDF - open here
Power Plant Fish Kills Challenged
States Urged To Take Action
Trenton, NJ – A group of organizations have joined forces in
calling on environmental officials in New Jersey and Delaware to require
three industrial plants, the Salem Nuclear Generating Station, the
Mercer Power plant in New Jersey, and the Delaware City Refinery in
Delaware, to comply with a long ignored provision of the Clean Water Act
that mandates those facilities minimize fish kills they cause. The
Coalition is launching a campaign to call for action by the NJ
Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and the Delaware
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to
stop these impacts by requiring cooling towers at these plants.
The three plants have been operating under expired permits that have
allowed them to continue to evade compliance with section 316b of the
Clean Water Act, a law passed in 1972.
“It is a breach of their legal and moral duty for the NJ Department of
Environmental Protection and the Delaware Department of Natural
Resources and Environmental Control to fail to stop the needless fish
slaughter at these three facilities by ensuring they comply with the
Clean Water Act. The fish of the River don’t belong to power
plants and industry, they are an essential part of the River ecosystem
that needs to be protected for the benefit of all, particularly the
anglers, recreational users and ecological integrity of our River,” said
Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.
addition to the fish kills, the once-through cooling systems at these
plants rob the Delaware River of millions of gallons of water. The
discharge of superheated water from these plants add to algae blooms and
bacteria growth, dropping dissolved oxygen levels. This further
impacts fish and shellfish. The discharged water contains heavy
metals and other toxic chemicals.
With flooding and sea level rise, the water intakes at these plants
could be vulnerable. The intakes could be inundated with
floodwater, causing problems, especially at the Salem facility.
“These plants are robbing us of the river that belongs to all of us.
They are killing fish, stealing our water, and adding pollution to the
Delaware River. These plants promote dirty and unsafe forms of
energy that cause many environmental impacts. The technology has
been there for decades to make these plants better protect the river.
For too long the government has been protecting the polluters instead of
protecting the River that belongs to all of us,” said Jeff
Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club.
“The States must act promptly on these expired permits and stop the
prolonged practice of these facilities generating energy at the expense
of the Delaware Estuary ecosystem. The true social costs of the
current system are too great,” said Hilary Semel, Executive
Director, Eastern Environmental Law Center.
"The magnitude of death these plants cause is truly devastating, in the
billions, impacting entire fisheries. Governor Christie needs to fulfill
his campaign promise in his 1st 100 days in office to 'stop the fish
slaughter resulting from the flawed cooling systems at the Salem nuclear
plants' (Source: 10.5.09, politickernj.com). Over 1200 days later, the
fish slaughter continues,” states Dave Pringle, Campaign
Director for the New Jersey Environmental Federation.
“After Valero decided to mothball the Delaware City Refinery in 2009,
Governor Jack Markell struck a deal with PBF Energy to acquire the
Refinery inexpensively with $45M of direct Delaware taxpayer subsidies
and $120M expense savings by not being mandated to installing a closed
loop cooling systems prior owners had agreed to. PBF was able to
purchase the refinery from Valero at a bargain basement price and
proceeded to modernize the entire plant to maximize profits, with the
noted exception of its fish killing water intake system. Today,
the Refinery is making a tremendous profit but is not turning one cent
into upgrading their decrepit water intake system. This wanton
killing of fish for cooling water amounts to a government-subsidized
shareholder-benefiting taking from our fisheries industry.” said
Mark Martell, President of the Delaware Audubon Society.
“The UNPLUG Salem Campaign supported this effort to save the millions of
fish and other marine life in the Delaware Bay from antiquated intake
systems. It is long overdue and we expect the NJDEP to join with
this effort,” said Norm Cohen, Executive Director for the Coalition for
Peace and Justice and spokesperson for the Unplug Salem Campaign.
“Protections for fish species in the form of quotas placed on commercial
and recreational anglers are on the rise. To allow these
industrial plants to get away with extensive impacts to young fish while
the anglers have to curb their fishing is unjustifiable and very
unfair,” said Tim Dillingham, Executive Director of the American
Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act requires "that the location,
design, construction, and capacity of cooling water intake structures
reflect the best technology available for minimizing adverse
environmental impact." For facilities such as Mercer, Salem and
the Delaware City Refinery this means reducing their impingement and
entrainment fish kills.
According to the letters sent to the leaders of the state environmental
agencies – Secretary Collin O’Mara in Delaware and Commissioner Martin
in New Jersey -- Salem kills over 3 billion Delaware River fish and
organisms a year; Mercer kills over 70 million; the Delaware City
Refinery kills over 45 million – and these figures are only for the few
species where the industry or agency actually counted, they do not
include the impingement and entrainment deaths of all species.
Salem’s current permit expired in 2006, Mercer’s in 2011, and the
Delaware City Refinery’s in 2002. That means these facilities have
been operating under expired permits for as much as 11 years in the case
of the refinery and that the facilities themselves have never been
forced to comply with the 30 year old provision of the Clean Water Act.
“It’s time for this to stop,” said van Rossum.
“These letters are but a first step in the many we are committed to take
to ensure the fish of the Delaware River are protected from needless
The coalition that sent in the letters includes: NJ Sierra Club,
Delaware Riverkeeper Network,
Eastern Environmental Law Center, NJ Environmental Federation, Delaware
Chapter Sierra Club, Delaware Audubon Society, American Littoral
Society, and the Coalition for Peace and Justice. Attorneys that
have been engaged to assist with the initiative include those at the
Eastern Environmental Law Center, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and
the Super Law Group.