Sunday, August 29, 2010

33 Billion Gals. of H2O For Luminant Nuke Expansion

Comanche Peak requirements for cooling water would drop lake level as much as 4 ft.

Two new reactors at Luminant's Comanche Peak nuclear power
station at Glen Rose would take 33 billion gallons of water
each year to cool.

Almost all the water would evaporate, but that which is saved would be added to the Brazos River downstream, bypassing Lake Granbury.

An environmental impact statement prepared by the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission recommends approval of the new
project, as well as the assent of the U.S. Army Corps of

That would result in Lake Granbury lake levels dropping by
as much as 4 feet and an average elevation at Possum Kindom
Lake to be 1.5 feet below where they are now, according to
Save Lake Granbury.

"Last year on Lake Granbury the lake was 4 ft. lower because
of drought conditions. With the additons of Comanche Peak 3
and 4 under those same conditions, the lake would actually
be 6.5 feet lower. Some models are indicating that might
actually be closer to 8 ft."

Estimates of as much as 12.8 feet lower water levels on
Possum Kingdom Lake are indicated by computer models,
according to Save Lake Granbury.

The organization insists that this is unacceptable, that the
lake was marketed to property owners such as the Lake
Granbury Waterfront Owners Assocation as a "constant level

The developer of the lake, The Brazos River Authority,

According to the Brazos River Authority, "The lake was built
without use of tax dollars; having been financed entirely
with revenues from sales of water by the Authority. The
principal revenues used to finance the project are provided
under a contract with TXU Electric Company for purchase of
water for industrial use, including cooling water for a
natural gas-fired steam electric power plant on the lake and
the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant near Glen Rose."

Construction on the dam began in 1966 and H.B. Zachry
finished work on it in 1969.

Since then, a sprawling recreational and retirement suburb
of Ft. Worth has sprung up on the prairie around the lake.

Low water levels leave boats and docks high and dry, which
causes homeowners in a bad economy to default on mortgages
and move out. That has lowered the tax base to a point
where those owners left behind are experiencing much higher
taxes due to higher assessments on much higher appraisals.

Most property owners predict a slow and ignominous death of
a booming economy in the area.

There will be a Town Hall meeting on Sept. 21 at Glen Rose
for the public to make their views known.

According to statements made by Save Lake Granbury, water
will be in high demand over the next 50 years.

Population growth will force an increase from the current
85,138 acre/ft. per year to 107,302 ft. A computer model
shows that 25 percent of the lake's volume will decrease due
to sedimentation.

"The additional use of water needed by the Comanche Peak
Expansion from the Brazos River Basin would cause a historic
impact on Lake Granbury," a statement from the protesters
concludes. "All models indicate the lake would reach
historic lows more often and would continue with longer
periods of time...We believe there are alternatives for the
Comanche Peak Expansion Project that would exempt the use of
Lake Granbury water."

To read what the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Brazos
River Authority is ready to approve, click here:

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