Nuclear industry encouraged by EPA cooling water intake proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 1, 2012—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of data availability (NODA) as a step toward a final rule governing cooling water intake structures for U.S. thermal power plants related to the protections of aquatic life.

Following is a statement from Richard Myers, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s vice president of policy development, planning and supplier programs.

“NEI believes EPA’s NODA is a step in the right direction. It offers alternatives for compliance that attempt to accommodate the ecological, geographic and engineering diversity of electric generating facilities and their sites, and to account for measures industry has already taken to protect aquatic life.

“The NODA also indicates that EPA is willing to reconsider the proposed national numeric performance standard for impingement, and allow more flexible compliance options to accommodate diversity of the ecosystems. EPA also places more emphasis on cost-benefit analysis in the NODA, which will help protect consumers from a sharp rise in electricity costs with little or no corresponding environmental benefit. The nuclear energy industry will continue to work with EPA to ensure an environmentally and socially responsible final rule.”