To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Clare Brady’s letter, published in the May 24 Spectrum, regarding the new CVE power plant under construction in Cricket Valley, N.Y.

While I share some of her concerns regarding air quality, there are a number of facts as to why new power plants are needed.

I am a retired engineer who worked on projects like CVE for many years, and I would like to point out the following engineering facts, as a response.

The new CVE plant will produce 1100 mega watts of power to the New York metro area. It’s opening is scheduled to take place as the 2000 mega watt nuclear power plant at Indian Point, N.Y., is starting to shut down due to its age and other safety concerns.

The power generated at CVE will make up slightly over 50 percent of the regional power deficit caused by Indian Points decommissioning. Indian Point generates over a third of New York City’s electrical power needs, and is vital to the entire region.

CVE is a part of a much larger nation wide project to upgrade, modernize and make more secure our national electrical power grid system.

Newer gas-fired plants like CVE, Oxford and Bridgeport burn cleaner than the old obsolete coal, oil plants that they will largely replace.

Much of the power in the Northeast comes from oil, hydro, coal and nuclear plants in Canada, and the Midwestern states. Many of these plants are also obsolete, and are at the end of their economic, material lives. CVE will displace many of these higher polluting, less safe plants.

While one can lament a new power plant so close to New Milford, they need to built somewhere, and I can attest to having seen the “not in my backyard” mindset delay many vital electrical and construction projects for up to seven years in some cases. Is it OK that folks in the Midwest breathe dirty air, so that we can have electricity ?

The population of the U.S. has doubled since I was born in the 1950s. Logic dictates that we need double the electrical power generating capacity. Our population rises about 1 percent a year, so the power industry has to factor that in for future planning.

Safe reliable electrical power is the backbone of our modern high tech world. Without it, millions will live in poverty and famine.

The “not in my back yard” movement has no solutions to the problem of providing safe reliable electrical power. What is you answer?

Solar, wind power, can, and should be promoted, but they are not yet ready for large scale power production. How would Clare Brady, and others feel about seeing huge windmills, and acres of solar panels blanketing the deserts and rural countrysides of America?

Plants like CVE provide the base power generating capacity, while wind, solar, can pick up extra demand, but only on clear or windy days. Or, take hydro power, which is clean, but requires huge dams across our rivers to create vast new man made lakes, and flooding rural areas forever?

Nuclear power emits no pollution, but the problems of waste remain unsolved, and the cost to build new nuclear plants is excessive.

CVE was planned 10 to 15 years ago, as a response to many of the above concerns, and is not something that was dreamed up in a few months, and not without a lot of reviews, approvals by the federal and New York State governments. The problem of what to do about closing the Indian Point nuclear plant on the Hudson river has been a hot topic for decades, and there has been decades of calls for its closing.

So that’s the trade off — a closed obsolete nuclear plant 50 miles away, and a newer, safer plant five miles away. Pick one.

If air quality is the main concern, lets talk about banning wood burning stoves, and end talk of reviving diesel powered passenger trains through New Milford.

It is a flight of fantasy to think or lobby New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo to shutter CVE before it ever opens. The CVE plant is vital to keeping NYC’s lights on, and Cuomo has long pushed to close Indian Point.

He has a long family tradition of opposing nuclear power. His late father, Mario, when New York governor was successful in brokering a deal to close the Long Island Shoreham nuclear power plant in the 1980s, before it ever went online.

New York State bought the plant for $1 dollar, then scrapped it. The excessive cost of the plant, construction delays, loss of revenue from it never opening, bankrupted the Long Island Lighting Co.

The lack of that plant’s generating capacity caused huge increases in electric bills for New York residents, and prompted construction of other non nuclear plants in the region to make up the power deficit. The CVE plant is a delayed reaction to these events.

As the demand for electric cars, computers, more population and housing, increases, so will the demand increase for more sources of electrical power. Electric power is a manufactured product, and does not come from thin air. It must be produced, transported, just like any other consumer product.

One can not just wish it to be made in some far off land, and like magic, just appear out of nowhere on our doorstep.

Steve Brook

Kent