This is about the Prairie Island nuclear generating plant uprate and dry caskdockets, so first, here’s how to get to that docket on the PUC site.

1) Go to

2) Go to “eDockets” on left side

3) Go to “search documents”

4) Search for 08-509

I’d also been to the Scheduling Conference on this docket, and here are my notes on scheduling, the EIS is due out March 17, 2009; the deadline for Intervention is April 15, 2009. These are tentative, and the final scheduling order will be out… ???

PI Schedule proposed by MOES

As you may recall, I supported having a Citizen Advisory Task Force and submitted the following letter and exhibits, and went to the PUC to argue the point. Commerce once again strongly opposed a CATF. WHY? We can guess… anyway, we won:

Letter – Citizen Advisory Task Force September 24, 2008

Exhibit A – City of Lindstrom Motion for Extension of Task Force

Exhibit B – Mesaba – EPA Comment on DEIS

Exhibit C – Mesaba Project – US Army Corps of Engineers Comment

The focus of this was first, the necessity of a Citizen Advisory Task Force, and secondly, the necessity of a Task Force being done correctly, i.e., allowed sufficient time to do the job, which has not happened lately, time has been too short and no one cares. The Task Force struggles, but without sufficient, the alternatives presented for analysis are too few, not covering a reasonable spectrum of possibilities, and in the case of Mesaba, federal agencies participating in the EIS are saying the alternatives analysis just isn’t up to snuff, “INADEQUATE,” and they just can’t get the EIS done now! It’s that bad a job. So I warned the PUC about this and urged them not to set it up similarly, that they should appoint the Task Force and allow enough time to analyze the application, address issues for scoping, and propose alternatives. Simple enough… well, we got the task force.

So today I learn that there’s a “Special” Red Wing City Council meeting to pass a resolution about Prairie Island. I wasn’t expecting much, given the city’s long term support of the plant and the convoluted relationship between Prairie Island and Red Wing — I regard it as an abusive relationship where Red Wing is constantly getting screwed, what with Prairie Island/Xcel successful in cutting the utility personal property tax base out from under us after using the city and county to lobby for them in 1994. Despite all the abuse, Red Wing says, “But I love Prairie Island Nuclear Generation Plant” and they just won’t stand up.

Here’s the Resolution they passed, with just a couple changes, minor typo or forgotten word types of changes:

Red Wing City Council Resolution

And here’s the one that I find disturbing, the cover letter. Why? Because there’s a few pretty wild statements that are a stretch:

Cover Letter – Red Wing City Council Resolution

They were in a hurry to get this in because October 7, Monday, is the deadline for submitting Comments, and there’s no council meeting before then. But did they understand that the purpose of Comments isn’t support or rejection of the project, but issues to raise in the environmental review? I don’t think they really got it, and there were at least three questions that showed they don’t know the process or what’s at issue yet, so it’s premature for them to be making any substantive comments. Scoping comments are mostly just light sketches ofissues to be raised, so that they can do. What’s troubling about their resolution is that they made some conclusory statements that they have no basis in fact to make… well, let me back up a bit here… did I mention that it was said at the meeting tonight that “their” Resolution was reviewed and approved by Mike Wadley and Glen Kuhl? MICHAEL WADLEY, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?? More likely than not they wrote it or put in the guts of it… ‘nough said… here are a couple quotes, and what’s most interesting is that I see big red flags on Xcel’s weaknessess, or perceived weaknesses:

The City of Red Wing believes that nuclear energy is a reliable and safe source of energy.

I guess they’ve not read the nuclear calendar or gone to Target, official distributor, to get their Potassium Iodide ration…

The City of Red Win requests that the City be given “partner” status in the review/evaluation process.

Confusing… at the time, I assumed it meant “party” status, which will require Intervention, but then the thought occurs to me that it means “partner” as in they’re joining in presenting/requestion uprate and dry cask storage? Hmmm… better check this out. OK, now here’s one that’s hilarious:

WHEREAS, The City of Red Wing believes the 3-4 degree temperature increase in water temperature (mostly winter time). We think it will not affect living matter, but DNR is the expert on this. The consumption of water from the river including increased evaporation rate will raise the amount of water needed from approximately 39 cubic feet per second to 43 cubic cfs;

OK, let’s be honest here. What do members of the City Council know about impact of water temperature increase? What do they know about the evaporation rate? Have they done the math of 39cfs and 43 cfs, raise it 4 cf/second. There’s 7.48052 gallons/cf, so that’s 19299.7416 gallons per minute, 1,157,984/hr, and 27,791,627/day, 1,043,944,184 gallons annually. The increase is 4cfs, or 29.9 gps, 1795 gpm, 107,719 gph, 2,585,267 gpd, and 943,622,714 gallons annually. That adds up quickly. Did anyone on the council do the math? Maybe Mike Hall, as a part of his job at Prairie Island…

Here’s another one that’s a hoot:

WHEREAS, The City of Red Wing acknowledgtes that the extended power upgrade used will have a slightly larger diameter fuel pellet changing the uranium in the reactor at the beginning of the fueling cycle from 1650MWt to 1805MWt. This may raise the radioactivity and radionuclitides emitted about one-half millirem, still very much within safety standards…

Uh-huh… so how many on the council can explain what “MWt” is?

I’m not to worried about stuff like this, other than it being an embarrassment to the Council, voting on things they know nothing about, but the purpose of this is a Comment for scoping of the EIS, and the issues are raised, and it’s for the Task Force to supplement the record as they can on issues they’re concerned about, the EIS will not just list but MUST analyze the issues and impacts, and its’ for us to Comment on them substantively during the process. So I’d say there’s a lot of edumacation about to happen…

In the meantime, dig this:

Equipment glitches triggered shutdown at Monticello nuke plant

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