A solution to the decades-old problem of how to cool older power plants without killing marine life may soon lie 30 feet beneath the bottom of Long Island Sound, just outside the shuttered Shoreham nuclear power plant.
There, a $1.2-million experiment paid for by LIPA, National Grid and New York State will soon begin to test the feasibility of drawing water through a 500-foot-long pipe deep in the sand to provide a flow of water to cool National Grid's local plants.
It's called a substratum intake system. It draws water filtered beneath 20 to 30 feet of sand above it to avoid the damage done by more direct-intake cooling systems.
Because it is well below the bottom surface, there is expected to be no impact on fish eggs, larvae or hatchlings as there is no direct contact with the intake system, National Grid said.
Drilling to install the horizontal well and 500-foot-long pipe has already begun, and results from the tests are expected in the next six weeks, said Bob Teetz, director of environmental management at National Grid.