On December 5 Charles C. Coutant, PhD talked about water withdrawal from the Savannah River when two new units at the existing 2-unit Plant Vogtle nuclear station were the first nuclear units to be permitted for construction since the 1970s. The talk covered a description of the existing plant and its proposed additional 2 units, issues raised by intervenors in opposition during the licensing proceeding, studies conducted at the existing 2-units to estimate environmental impacts of adding two units (nearly identical those in place), and the resolution of the issues through a hearing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board. Most issues involved physical, chemical and thermal impacts to aquatic life in the Savannah River, from which the cooling towers would withdraw make-up water and release blowdown. Water withdrawal could potentially entrain fish eggs and larvae and impinge larger fish on intake screens. Release of warm blowdown water could potentially cause adverse thermal effects. Dredging of the Savannah River to deliver large reactor components could potentially cause damage to bottom organisms in dredged materials. All the issues were resolved and the Early Site Permit for initial construction was issued by the NRC.
Dr. Coutant retired in 2005 as a Distinguished Research Ecologist in the Environmental Sciences Division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and
is currently a private consultant.
On December 12, Barbara Scott. Environmental Specialist at Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation spoke about the status of the ash cleanup at the Kingston steam plant.
She has been serving as the State’s representative onsite during the Kingston Ash Recovery project over the past three years. She worked for EPA Region 4 Superfund before coming to TDEC five years ago. The work on the ash spill has progressed
well and stage 1 , which was time sensitive , has been completed. She described the remaining work on ash disposal and the long term environmental work that is ongoing.
The December 19, 2011 speaker was Rob Scott of Eventbooking.com. He described the changes in computer programming and the internet. His company has a large computer program that they have completely rewritten three times and to
which they make frequent major modifications. He spoke about the “cloud” where data now resides in perhaps redundant places but it seemed a bit hazy (to the TSK secretary). Robert Ferris Scott is a member of the Technical Society and he is a great grandson of Charles Ferris,
the founder of the Technical Society. Also Rob is a legend at TVA. During the 1982 worlds fair, TVA learned that the best graphics computer programmer in the Knoxville area was a Bearden High School senior and they hired him to write the programs for their worlds fair barge. His computer game, written for the Apple2 computer, with Morgan Goranfro, for controlling lake levels and river flow rates was in the TVA offices for many years. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee in electrical engineering and he is an officer in Eventbooking.com and oversees their computer programming.