Saturday, March 19, 2011

Indian Point: Old, Dangerous, Unnecessary

In the aftermath of the nuclear disaster in Japan, Paul Gallay, the executive director of Riverkeeper, sent me the following, about the Indian Point nuclear power plants in northwestern Westchester County. It's worth reading:

Since the nuclear disaster in Japan and revelations this week that the NRC staff believes Indian Point is the most at-risk nuke plant in the nation for core damage due to earthquake, Riverkeeper and public officials [Andrew Cuomo, for example] who are calling for IP to close finally have some real momentum.  News coverage is extensive and favorable.  We are seeing Indian Point's "brand" [Safe, Secure, Vital] being replaced with the truth: Indian Point is Old, Dangerous, Unnecessary.

Indian Point is near more people than any other U.S. nuke plant; it's older than dirt; there's no viable evacuation plan; it's got a rotten safety record and people are starting to weigh the risks now that they see the possible consequences unfolding halfway around the world.  It's time to connect the dots and close this thing!

Based on NRC analysis of USGS data, a quake causing core damage at IP in the next year is more likely than buying a powerball ticket and winning $100. Oh, and a 2008 Columbia University study concludes that IP is built at about the worst place in the NY Metro area for quakes and that a 7.0 is "quite possible."  What's Indian Point saying?  They're confident they can withstand a 6.1 quake, apparently oblivious to the fact that a 7.0 has thirty times more destructive energy. And, unlike Columbia and the NRC staff, Indian Point has supplied no proof to back up their own numbers.

Yet, NRC higher-ups refuse to pay attention to the dangers at Indian Point, telling Attorney General Eric Schneiderman yesterday that "nuclear power plants in the U.S. remain safe, with no need for immediate action," adding that all plants have a margin for safety. They've known since 2008 that isn't true at Indian Point.  Perhaps they think we can't handle the truth.  Or, maybe they don't even know the truth and are just repeating their same practiced, soothing fairytales. After all, the NRC Chairman admitted to NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on Wednesday that he wasn't even aware of his own agency's September 2010 study showing how much more serious are the risks at Indian Point than previously understood!  

If you want to discuss this or perhaps offer us a comment, that would be great.  Your advice would be extremely welcome, too.  

Most immediately, we ask you to forward this link and share the following simple message by Facebook or Twitter, so the folks you know can learn the facts and take action:


Don't just take our word for it. Links to press and supporting studies are below.


Paul Gallay
Executive Director, Hudson Riverkeeper

Riverkeeper statement on why Indian Point must Close

Article reporting Indian Point as having the highest risk of core damage due to earthquake of any nuke plant in the country

Article in which Indian Point claims [without substantiation] it’s built to withstand a 6.1 magnitude earthquake, and the 2008 Columbia University study is cited to the effect that there’s a  7.0 risk [i.e., 32 times more powerful than IP claims the plant is built to withstand].  Note that the IP spokesman calls this area “practically non-seismic.”

Article in which Governor Cuomo calls for IP closure and NRC Chairman Jaczko admits he's not even aware of his own Commission's 2010 study on new dangers from quakes

Article by Columbia University about its Study saying Indian Point is built in about the worst spot for quake risk in the metro area.

2003 Study commissioned by Governor George Pataki, written by former FEMA head James Lee Witt, illustrating the inadequacies of IP's evacuation plan

Study analyzing the power usage savings achieved in California after their rolling blackouts and applying those results to New York

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Blogger 20Tauri said...

I've been trying to get my paws on a copy of Rory Kennedy's documentary, Imagining the Unimaginable. Sadly, it's not on Netflix. Wonder if Riverkeeper has any suggestions on viewing options?

3:11 PM  

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