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Public Service Electric and Gas Company
PSE&G, along with Atlantic City Electric and Jersey Central Power & Light Company, have concluded, as a result of a number of studies, that such a project is feasible. From both an environmental and economic standpoint, the Atlantic Generating Station represents the best way to provide New Jersey with the vast additional amounts of electric power it wants and needs.
How much electricity is needed? Consumer demand for electricity in the United States has been increasing at a fantastic rate, doubling approximately every 10 years. In New Jersey, electrical demand has been growing at an even faster rate, and requires the doubling of New Jersey's
electric generating capacity in the next eight years.
Unless we double our capacity in the next eight years, we simply will not have enough electricity to go around, and rationing of electric power may become a fact of life.
Basically, there are two practical ways, given today's technology, to generate the large quantities of electricity we need in New Jersey-by fossil fueled plants (those that burn coal, oil, or gas) or by nuclear plants.
The principle is simple. Water is heated to create steam. The steam's force drives a turbine, which turns a generator to pro
duce electricity. In a fossil fueled plant, coal, oil, or gas is burned to produce the steam that makes the electricity. But there are two major problems with fossil fueled plants. First, even after utilizing efficient pollution control devices, the combustion by-products of fossil fuels produce a considerable amount of pollution. Secondly, we are rapidly depleting our limited natural resources of coal, oil and gas. Depending upon whose estimate you read, we will run out of fossil fuels sometime in the next 40 to 400 years.
What will our future electric generating stations use for fuel? Uranium. In fact, generation of electricity from uranium will
provide 53% of our electric power by 1990 according to the Federal Power Commission.
A nuclear plant is basically similar to a fossil plant except the heat is produced by using uranium to create a controlled chain reaction (fission), instead of burning coal, oil, or gas. Since the process of fission is self-contained, there are no combustion by-products and virtually no air pollution.
Nuclear plants have some obvious advantages over fossil fueled plants: 1. Virtually no air pollution. 2. More economical to operate as a result
of using uranium fuel. 3. Conservation of natural resources due to
the use of uranium rather than depleting our limited reserves of gas, oil and coal.
4. Less noise and traffic in the local area
since a nuclear plant only needs
refueling once a year.
which could jeopardize national security
One thing we are concerned with in any electric generating plant is the so-called thermal effect the warm water from these plants might produce. Nuclear plants and fossil fueled plants both use water to cool their steam systems. While performing its cooling function, the water becomes warm and is discharged into nearby bodies of water, usually a river. Present nuclear plants produce somewhat more waste heat
Why an Ocean Site?
than an equivalent size fossil plant. In plants the size of the Atlantic Generating Station, approximately 2 million kilowatts, vast quantities of water are required for cooling purposes. Because of this, it becomes increasingly difficult to locate such plants along available rivers in New Jersey due to the restricted water flow.
Consequently, it was decided to locate nuclear plants in the Atlantic Ocean-to provide an unlimited supply of cooling water and to minimize the thermal effects. The location of the Atlantic Generating Station is 2.8 miles out in the ocean, off Little Egg Inlet, and approximately 12 miles northeast of Atlantic City. The site will be within the 3 mile limit for state jurisdiction.
In addition to minimizing thermal effects, there are other ecological advantages to ocean siting
The area required to locate this facility in the ocean is about 100 acres. An equivalent size plant located on land would require approximately 500 acres. With offshore installation, the need for that property is eliminated and the land remains available for other valuable uses for society.
Appropriate land sites for large generating stations have become increasingly difficult to find. While most everyone desires to use electricity, and recognizes the need for it, we have experienced increasing opposition in selecting locations for installation of electric facilities. If this trend continues, New Jersey will soon be facing an electric energy crisis.
Locating a generating station approximately 3 miles off the coast will minimize the visual effect of the plant, which will appear relatively small on the horizon.
Also, an offshore plant can be fabricated in a shipyard rather than on site. This results in minimal environmental disruption at the local site. It also allows for assembly line production techniques, as well as standardization of design and licensing procedures,which will result in reduced costs and planning lead times.
Some people have asked why we selected this location in South Jersey over others. First, the site had to be close to a deepwater inlet, which considerably narrows down the choices along the New Jersey
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coast. Proximity to an inlet is required for convenient transportation of employees and provisions to the Atlantic Generating Station. We wanted to avoid the busier shipping lanes in North Jersey in order not to create an obstruction to navigation near major ship channels. While the breakwater will be built to withstand a ship collision, we still feel it is best to have the plant as far removed from major shipping lanes as possible.
The depth of the ocean water becomes a major economic factor when the cost of the breakwater construction is considered. The water along the three mile limit becomes increasingly deeper as you proceed north from the selected site off Little Egg Inlet.
From a visual standpoint, this site represents a distinct advantage over most others because it is not directly adjacent to any beach community. This minimizes the visual effect. While the station will be 2.8 miles from the closest point on the coast, it will be more than five miles from the nearest populated community, and its residents will not have the plant in their
direct line of sight when they look out to sea.
Consequently, as a result of a combination of ecological, economic, engineering, and sociological factors, we reached the decision that this site was the most favorable for a plant of this type in New Jersey.
In addition, Atlantic and Ocean Counties are the most rapidly growing counties in the State. By the time this facility begins operating, in the early 1980's, these counties will require vast amounts of additional electricity. One thing that isn't always understood, however, is that the electric companies in New Jersey operate as one combined “power pool" in which available power is shared by all. This provides increased reliability of electric service as well as minimal cost for electricity. Therefore, the electricity from this plant will be used by and benefit all the people of New Jersey. This is also reflected in the fact that PSE&G, Atlantic City Electric Company and Jersey Central Power & Light Company will share in the cost of the Atlantic Generating Station as well as its electrical ouput.