Sunday, June 27, 2010

Power Crazy: Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant

The Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant has been in the news my entire life. When I was 3 months old, plans were announced in 1965 for three nuclear power plants to be built on Long Island: Lloyd Harbor, Jamesport, and Shoreham.  While the Lloyd Harbor plan was killed in 1970, and Jamesport never left the drafting table,  construction began on the Shoreham plant in 1973. Today, it remains the only completed nuclear power plant to never generate electricity.
This is not a No-Nukes post; I personally believe nuclear power should play a vital role in our domestic energy policy. Instead, this is a post against Bad Ideas. Shoreham was riddled with them .

  1. The plant was to be situated near the path of airplanes landing at MacArthur Airport and the New Haven Airport.

  2. It was to be built in an area that the U.S. Air Force had designated as "high hazard" due to its proximity to the Calverton Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant, where Grumman military fighter planes were tested, which was five miles from the Shoreham site

  3. Evacuation plans called for the 3 million residents of Long Island to seek safety by automobile transportation, westward via New York City bridges.
I am certainly no expert on nuclear safety and evacuation procedures, but #3 hangs out there like a big matzo ball. Doesn't sound like much of a plan. Long Island has one way in, and one way out. Building a nuclear power plant there made about as much sense as building one in Wellfleet or Key West.
My day in Shoreham was not all a loss. I eventually made it back to Rocky Point and had a wonderful dinner with Marianna and Ralph. She is from Italy via Japan, while he is from Berlin. They are in Long Island For A Year while Ralph works at Brookhaven National Labratory. Good food, good company, great conversation!

One must wait for the sundown to see how splendid the day has been
— Sophocles


Capt. Ed said...

I remember the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant battle pretty well. I grew up on Eaton's Ne in and want to boy scout camp in Wading the early 1980's. I seem to recall one of my neighbors who was an activist getting arrested. Bad idea is an understatement. God know how much money that spent on building it and then maintaining it over the years.


Capt. Ed Mancini
The Navigator Club, Inc.

Anonymous said...

Sure, the notion of evacuating Long Island was pretty other-worldly, but then, the notion of evacuating Westchester in the case of trouble at Indian Point is just about as bad.

Unknown said...

Thanks Capt Ed!
I wasn't aware that there were plans for a Lloyd Harbor plant too. Of course, they had more political pull to stop it.

Excellent point! CT Yankee and Indian Point are both in heavily populated areas.Imagine trying to cross the Tappen Zee or get through Hartford on I-91?

I apologize to both of you for not responding sooner. I have a weak wifi signal aboard the boat; then I got preoccupied with the grounding of the Alabama.
Thanks to both of you for stopping by.

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