union sq 1.jpg

Demonstrators in Union Square, NYC, April 2, 2011

 

2011 News and articles about Indian Point, Westchester County’s nuclear energy plant.

In our Reading Room, you can find links to articles from 2001 to 2010.

 

Indian Point opponents disrupt NRC safety forum

 

12:53 AM, Jun. 3, 2011  |  

 

NRC meeting 6-2-11.jpg

 

Joe O'Brien, representing Rep. Eliot Engel, D-Bronx, reads a statement during the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's public briefing Thursday on the Indian Point safety assessment at the Colonial Terrace catering facility in Cortlandt. / Joe Larese/The Journal News

.                         

Written by

Greg Clary

                         

                  CORTLANDT — More than 400 people turned out to hear about Indian Point's most recent safety record, but the opponent-dominated crowd not only wouldn't listen to Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials, they forced the regulators to turn the format into a raucous question-and-answer session.

The NRC's traveling road show, designed to go over Indian Point's operation in 2010, almost shut down a few minutes into the agency's presentation, when boisterous members of the overflow crowd at the Colonial Terrace catering hall shouted down the safety report details.

NRC officials told the crowd that Indian Point had operated in 2010 "in a manner that preserved public health and safety and met all cornerstone objectives."

"Liars," more than one audience member shouted. "Lap dogs."

Karl Farrar, the agency's moderator for the two-hour meeting, tried to control the shouting.

"This won't work," Farrar said. "If you don't allow them to speak, you won't be allowed to speak."

A few minutes later, NRC officials said they would have to close the meeting and called for a five-minute break, coming back to say they would suspend their presentation and open up the floor to questions — or statements, based on what a string of speakers, projected to reach nearly 100 people, had to say to the regulators.

With the specter of the Japanese nuclear crisis on many people's minds, the evening became a louder-than-usual battle between plant opponents and supporters.

Steve Greenfield, a school board member from Orange County, talked about security around the plant in an age where average people can buy military aircraft on the Internet.

Greenfield cited a March incident in which a podiatrist from Clermont, N.Y., crashed a military jet he was flying in the Hudson Valley and died in the accident.

"From a security perspective," Greenfield said, "if a podiatrist from upstate New York can buy a supersonic fighter jet and … crash it into the Hudson River at any time that he so pleases, why do you feel comfortable that the plant itself is actually safe from external threat?"

 

NRC officials said the plant was safe and was built to withstand attacks, with security operations tested regularly.

The largest applause in the early part of the evening was for Rockland Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, D-Suffern, who quoted Gov. Andrew Cuomo's call to close the plant and reminded the audience that the Assembly had just adopted a nonbinding resolution to make license renewal of the plant be done as if the plant were new.

Indian Point officials have applied to extend its 40-year operating license by 20 years, and the NRC is looking at how the company can manage an aging plant in its review.

Relicensing criteria do not include emergency planning or earthquake potential, which the agency says is monitored continually.

"There is a crisis of confidence with your agency," Jaffee told the regulators. "Relinquish your resistance to the findings of highly qualified and credentialed experts. … It's your job to protect the public, not the industry."

Members of the business community spoke in favor of the plant's operation, which has received top marks from the NRC for seven consecutive years despite dealing with radiation leaks, emergency siren mishaps and continuing opposition well before Japan's Fukushima-Daiichi crisis galvanized new legions of opponents.

Jerry Connelly, a retired business manager from Boilermakers Local 5 who started working at Indian Point in 1968, turned the microphone around and addressed the audience.

"I support the relicensing," Connelly said. "It is unfortunate that we live in a state that the elected officials are unwilling to tackle any kind of problem that we have. … We have some of the oldest (electricity) generating equipment in the United States, some the oldest transmission lines. Unless the state is willing to invest billions of dollars, we are going to have to use Indian Point."

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Two from WNYC:

 

The Brian Lehrer Show                     

The Point at Indian Point

Friday, June 03, 2011

Last night a hearing was held to discuss the future of Indian Point. WNYC reporter Bob Hennelly, discusses what's in store for the power plant, located 40 miles from New York City.

 

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/2011/jun/03/point-indian-point/

 

Regulator and regulated: nuclear bedfellows?

http://www.wnyc.org/articles/its-free-country/2011/jun/03/future-indian-point/

Opposition is mounting to federal relicensing of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. With more and more New York politicians coming out of the woodwork, and debate far from dead in the public square, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission held a hearing last night about the plant's 2010 safety review.

WNYC's Bob Hennelly said there was a range of opinions expressed, but the overall mood was of a very particular stripe—not least because concerns are fresh after the disaster at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, and how it happened despite regulation.

The meeting was dominated by people who really feel Indian Point should never have opened. And what happened in Fukushima—this is where the New York Times has done a great job really calling into question over there the relationship between industry and regulator. There's a lot of questions by people like Congressman [Edward] Markey saying really, we're not so dissimilar; there's a sense that the NRC and the atomic industry are very much linked. How else to explain the perfect batting record when it comes to these relicensing extensions?

Passing the energy buck

Earlier in the day, Hennelly had been at a press conference regarding "Coptergate," a mini-scandal surrounding New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his using a helicopter to get to his son's little league baseball game. He told Jami Floyd that when he got to the Indian Point hearing, he estimated that the media presence was a paltry 10 percent of what it had been at the Christie conference. The U.S. media may have been distracted, but the Japanese ended up covering an event that went largely unreported by domestic outlets.

Whether or not you're for or against Indian Point, we're at a major crossroads in this country about energy, and I think it says something about the media that Japanese national television was there, and we had such a lack of showing from the mainstream media.

The problems are there, we're just not talking about them or thinking about them as much as we should be, Hennelly said. As our energy demands grow and change, time may be running out before we're forced to deal with our problems in painful ways.

We've let the licensing law lapse and we have this architecture for a 21st century circumstance where we're dependent more and more upon electricity, what with cell phones and computers. We have not invested in that. We've not had a collective buy-in about what we're going to do about energy. We're dealing with a legacy of conflict-avoiding.

Seismic review

One of the problems with gauging the effectiveness of regulation is that technology is so complicated and shrouded. Hennelly said that because nuclear operations are, for the most part, kept out of the public focus, many of the reforms and improvements touted by regulatory agencies can only be taken at face value. Are we actually safer? Hard to tell.

The NRC basically says, we've upgraded, and you have to take their word for it that they've put in place overlaying security that would prevent something from happening.

The Fukushima disaster reignited interest in New York's plate tectonics; earthquakes in the region are highly unlikely, but what if? Hennelly said that while most experts have dismissed the likelihood of a significant seismic disaster, there's no reason to rely on old science. Things change.

When you have a technology with such high stakes, if something goes wrong, you have to continue to have it informed by new science. I'm not a seismologist, I don't even play one on the radio, but clearly qualified people got the ear of Governor Cuomo and he set into motion an expedited seismic review.

 

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Indian Point nuke plant lacking firefighting equipment, officials say public doesn't understand

BY Douglas Feiden 
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Sunday, May 22nd 2011, 4:00 AM

 

Huge areas of the accident-prone Indian Point nuke plant lack essential firefighting equipment like sprinklers and fire extinguishers, the Daily News has learned.

The aging plant 24 miles from the city is missing basic smoke-eating tools, even as it sits on an earthquake fault and has suffered two fires since 2007.

Such safety shortcuts, approved for years by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, face new scrutiny in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that crippled the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuke plant.

Indian Point's two active reactors are divided into 275 fire zones, of which 198 lack automatic fire suppression systems, according to records that plant owner Entergy gave the NRC in 2009.

That means 72% of the facility lacks things like sprinklers and automatic deluge water sprays.

One vulnerable hot spot is the spent-fuel pool at Indian Point 3, where radioactive and superheated fuel rods are kept cool. A spent-fuel pool triggered Japan's nuke accident.

Records also show:

There are no manual fire suppression systems such as hydrants or fire extinguishers in 111 fire zones - 40% of the plant.

Fire detection systems common to most major office buildings such as smoke, heat or flame detectors are unavailable in 173 zones - 63% of the plant.

 The data is contained in a little-noticed March 28 petition from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to the NRC alleging that most of the plant's 275 fire zones violate minimum federal fire safety regulations.

"Indian Point's ongoing failure to comply with federal fire safety requirements is both reckless and unacceptable," he told The News.

The NRC approved the current status of fire safety in the 1980s, but in 2006 it told Entergy to justify in writing why it should keep the exemptions.

That plan, submitted in 2009, is still pending as the plant seeks a 20-year renewal of two operating licenses that expire in 2013 and 2015. Gov. Cuomo opposes relicensing and has called for the plant to be closed.

Schneiderman says Entergy's application indicates Indian Point wants to water down its precautionary measures.

His staff claims Entergy wants to renew 275 exemptions from the NRC, one for each fire zone.

The exemptions would let workers shut the plant manually in case of a fire, instead of automatically via fire detection and suppression systems.

Schneiderman say the exemptions let the plant breach federal fire safety regs.

Entergy insists it's only seeking 51 exemptions through manual workarounds, none of which compromises public safety.

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said the agency has not "identified any issues that rise to the level of an immediate safety concern."

Schneiderman said the feds are too cozy with the industry.

"For years, the NRC has looked the other way as Indian Point ignores the most basic safety standards. With nearly 20 million people living and working within 50 miles ... that's a risk we simply cannot afford," he said.

In a tour of the plant, Entergy executives said the fire safety performance is "second to none," noting the firm invests millions to minimize fire hazards and keep a 50-person fire brigade on site.

"Public safety is our No. 1 priority," said Fred Dacimo, vice president of operations. "Nothing is more important."

Still, he acknowledged the absence of fire detection and automatic suppression equipment in dozens of the reactor's fire zones, saying, "It's hard to explain that to John Q. Public."

Dacimo said several fire zones include large expanses of concrete and steel that can't burn. Some have open space; others hold few combustible materials.

Plant operators argue that such zones don't require sprinklers or fire detectors, or even hoses and extinguishers in some cases, because they're next to zones with firefighting equipment.

Environmental advocate Riverkeeper says failing to deploy critical firefighting tools in sensitiveEntergy areas of a nuke plant makes no sense in a post-9/11 world.

"As we saw on Sept. 11, steel and concrete are susceptible to intense fires and structural failures," said Phillip Musegaas, the group's Hudson River program director. "The potential radiation release is much greater than it was in Japan."

Entergy executives say they have safety measures in place in case of a terror attack.

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BRENNAN SAYS PUBLIC IS OPERATING IN THE DARK ABOUT THE COSTS OF CLOSING THE INDIAN POINT NUCLEAR PLANTS

April 19, 2011 

 

           State Assemblymember Jim Brennan (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the New York State Assembly’s Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, supports Governor Cuomo’s call for closure of the two nuclear power plants at Indian Point because of safety concerns.  In the course of researching Entergy’s claim that the closure would be devastating to the economy of the State, his office has determined that Entergy is being allowed to operate its plants without providing an annual financial and operating report to the Public Service Commission, despite a state law that requires all electric corporations that sell power to file an annual report. The Commission confirmed that it is not requiring the reports.

 

          In a letter to Chairperson Garry Brown of the Public Service Commission, Mr. Brennan said the Commission should immediately order the electric power producer industry, including Entergy, to file all required reports. “The Public Service Commission abandoned its fundamental statutory duty to oversee and assure just and reasonable rates, and it needs to immediately enforce the law,” Mr. Brennan said. “Mr. Brown was not the Chairman of the Commission when this decision was made, and he should take this opportunity to reverse this gutting of basic consumer protection,” he continued.

 

    The Public Service Commission, in a 1990’s Pataki-era decision at the beginning of deregulation, gave exemptions to several cogeneration companies on the grounds they were competitive. As deregulation continued and independent power companies bought the utility industry’s power plants and built new ones, the Commission never ordered them to file. The State’s independent power producers, which own anywhere from one to 75 power plants, include many of the nation’s largest corporations. Brennan also indicated he would submit legislation ordering the Public Service Commission to obtain the reports.

 

          “Investigation of Entergy’s finances, operations and costs is the first step in a plan to address the possible closure of the nuclear facilities,” Mr. Brennan said.  Brennan has called on Entergy to provide immediate and full disclosure in a letter to the company president.   Mr. Brennan said, “We need to know to whom Entergy is selling power, at what price, how much it is making, what its costs are, and how the power can be replaced and at what price.”

 

          Mr. Brennan has also sent a letter to the City of New York and several other governmental entities that are large recipients of Entergy’s power, through contracts with the State Power Authority, calling on them to prepare for the possible closure of the plant and produce new power with cogeneration, solar and other renewable energies.  Demand in the public sector in the metropolitan area is roughly equal to the output of the two nuclear plants.

 

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Indian Point plant should be closed

Updated 11:36 a.m., Monday, April 18, 2011

Albany Times-Union

 

http://www.timesunion.com/opinion/article/Indian-Point-plant-should-be-closed-1341246.php

 

As I see it, states can close nuclear reactors within their borders under the 1983 Supreme Court ruling, Pacific Gas and Electric vs. Energy Resources Commission.

The court declared: "To the present day, Congress has preserved the dual regulation of nuclear-powered electricity generation: The Federal Government maintains complete control of the safety and 'nuclear' aspects of energy generation; the states exercise their traditional authority over the need for additional generating capacity, the type of generating facilities to be licensed, land use, rate-making, and the like."

 

New York could close nuclear plants, particularly Indian Point, and justify it by asserting that, in the event of a large or immense radiation release, the state could not afford the cost of evacuating huge numbers of people and/or "spent" fuel pools, nor could it afford to care for those people. The state could not absorb the huge loss of economic activity and tax revenues that would result from an enormous radiation release.

 

The state Department of Environmental Conservation could revoke pollution discharge permits it has granted to nuclear stations operators and/or terminate variances granted to regulations.

Indian Point should be closed for many reasons. Like Dai-ichi in Japan, it has multiple reactors: a natural or other disaster impacting one reactor would likely impact the other.

 

Indian Point is only one-fifth the distance from New York City that Dai-ichi is from Tokyo, and is located near the intersection of active earthquakes faults.

 

If the millions of people who live in the New York City region had to flee, where would they go? What would happen to their jobs if they could never return?

 

TOM ELLIS

Albany

 

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Liz Kruger: Close Indian Point

http://bayridgejournal.blogspot.com/2011/04/liz-kruger-close-indian-point.html 



State Senator Liz Kruger, a Manhattan Democrat who has called for the closure of the Indian Point nuclear facility in Westchester since 2003, has raised the alarm, in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, about the risks the aging nuclear facility poses to the 20 million people -- most of them New Yorkers -- who live and work within a 50 mile radius of the facility.



The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is evaluating renewal applications for Indian Point's two reactors, whose licenses expire in 2013 and 2015.



Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Duffy have addressed concerns over Indian Point with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), but that's not enough, said Kruger.



The State has no plan to develop capacity and reduce consumption in order to take Indian Point offline.



Indian Point’s location would mean that, in the event of an earthquake, 20 million people would be trapped in the contamination zone, because there is no quick way to evacuate that many people.



Indian Point officials argue that the plant can withstand the “strongest earthquake anticipated in the area,” but as the Indian Coast Tsunami, the Gulf Coast Hurricane, and the Haiti and Japan earthquakes have proven, we can no longer accurately predict the scale of natural disasters.



And so, in an increasingly unstable global climate -- both natural and geopolitical -- we are effectively playing Russian Roulette with the lives of the 20 million people who live near Indian Point.



Kruger's full statement in PDF.



The legacy of Indian Point:  used fuel rods with no place to go [CBS Local.]

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New York City’s Deadly Game of Nuclear Roulette

Apr. 16 2011 - 4:56 pm  By WILLIAM PENTLAND

http://blogs.forbes.com/williampentland/2011/04/16/new-york-citys-deadly-game-of-nuclear-roulette/

 

“Of all the places in all the world where no one in their right mind would build scores of nuclear power plants, Japan would be pretty near the top of the list,” concluded Leuren Moret, a radiation specialist trained at the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., in an op-ed piece that appeared in The Japan Times in 2004.

One of the other places that may rank near the top of that list: New York City.

A growing number of scientists and emergency planners are calling on federal and state regulators to shut down the Indian Point nuclear reactor about 40 miles north of New York City, on the Hudson River in Buchanan, New York. While many of Indian Point’s critics have expressed concerns about safety at the nuclear plant for years, the nuclear crisis in Japan has caused their ranks to swell over the past several weeks.

In 2003, James Lee Witt, former director of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, assessed the U.S. government’s emergency-response plan for a nuclear power-plant disaster at Indian Point. The conclusion: there was no government plan adequate to respond to a disaster at Indian Point, which is surrounded by more than 20 million people on any given day.

A month before the 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan triggered the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power reactors, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for approving a regulation that would allow radioactive waste to be stored at Indian Point for at least 60 years after closure. Shockingly, the NRC’s new policy would allow the long-term storage of nuclear waste without requiring any review of the potential safety and environmental risks posed by such storage. The lawsuit asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to invalidate the NRC rule for failure to comply with environmental laws.

“Whether you’re for or against re-licensing Indian Point, we can all agree on one thing: Before dumping radioactive waste at the site for at least 60 years after it’s closed, our communities deserve a thorough review of the environmental, public health, and safety risks such a move would present,” said Schneiderman in a press release announcing the lawsuit.

To put this in perspective, the U.S. government has invested $9 billion developing a storage site for reprocessed nuclear spent fuel at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, which is perhaps the most studied geological structure in the world. Despite this enormous investment in building an underground, secure storage site, Nevada’s less than 3 million residents have refused to endorse the project as a result of safety and environmental concerns. If storing spent nuclear fuel in deep inside a mountain surrounded on all sides by about 100 miles of empty desert is unsafe, it seems odd that the NRC would endorse a plan to store the same nuclear fuel within a stone’s throw of roughly 15% of the nation’s entire population.

In March, Schneiderman filed a petition with the NRC. The petition asked the federal agency to do its job and pursue an enforcement action against Indian Point, which is owned and operated by New Orleans, La.-based Entergy Corporation, for a laundry list of safety regulation violations that could compromise the plant’s safety during an emergency. Schneiderman said Indian Point had failed to comply with several fire safety regulations. Specific violations alleged in the petition included:

.      The plant has not strengthened electrical cables to withstand fire damage for one to three hours, a regulation established to provide necessary plant security in the event of an emergency.

.      Rather than installing automatic response systems, the plant would rely on employees to perform a series of complex manual actions, which the NRC has not authorized as a means of adequately protecting nuclear facilities in the event of a fire.

.      The plant has not installed required fire detectors or fire suppression systems in various locations.

“In the wake of Japan’s crisis, our country’s nuclear facilities should be bolstering their safety measures, yet Indian Point is looking to weaken its precautionary measures,” Schneiderman said.

Fires at nuclear facilities are often the trigger for nuclear catastrophes. The possibility that terrorists or hostile foreign states could take advantage of Indian Point’s vulnerabilities is keeping many of Indian Point’s most vehement critics awake at night. The vulnerability results from Indian Point’s current method of storing irradiated or “spent” nuclear fuel. Rather than speculate on specific scenarios, it is enough to say that starting a fire at Indian Point – whether by accident, sabotage or terrorist attack – could lead to a Fukushima-grade crisis.

Given the demographic context in which such a crisis would occur, the consequences would almost certainly be catastrophic.

 

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Rockland County Executive: It's Time To Shut Indian Point

http://nyack.patch.com/articles/rockcland-county-executive-its-time-to-shut-indian-point#c

C. Scott Vanderhoef says the risks of the nuclear plant are not worth the rewards.

By Melissa Siegel | Email the author | April 13, 2011

Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef said Tuesday that while he is confident in the government’s Indian Point evacuation plan, he still believes the nuclear plant should ultimately be closed.

“My own personal belief is that no matter how good your plan is … there’s always a hiccup, there’s always a problem, there’s always something behind something else that creates problems, and that we live in too densely a populated area to assure the safety and health of every single resident,” Vanderhoef said while participating in Rockland County Government Day at Rockland Community College. “And if I can’t do that, then the question becomes is nuclear power at that site, in this densely populated area, worth the cheap electricity it produces. And my response is no, that it should be closed. Not because I’m opposed to nuclear power, but because it’s in the wrong spot.”

The discussion began when Vanderhoef was talking to RCC faculty and students, along with other government officials, about what the County Executive’s office does. The talk was part of Rockland County Government Day, where various booths were set up to teach locals about what each department in the county government does. Vanderhoef’s speech was one of several “break-out” sessions during the event, where local officials talked to a small group about their specific role in the government.

Vanderhoef began by talking about the different jobs that a county executive has, one of which is serving as the chief emergency officer for Rockland. However, he noted that the one exception to this was in the case of a disaster at Indian Point, when the executives for Westchester, Orange, Putnam and Rockland would have to come together to decide the next course of action.

After making this clarification Vanderhoef moved on to discuss other topics, specifically how and why he chose to keep Rockland schools open the day after the September 11th terrorist attacks. But when Vanderhoef opened the floor up for a question-and-answer session, the focus quickly switched back to Indian Point.

One woman asked if the four county executives ever get together to discuss a possible evacuation plan. Vanderhoef said that they in fact practice such plans at least twice a year, each with different hypothetical scenarios. He noted, however, that a question has now come up about whether the evacuation radius should be 10 miles — as it is now — or 50 miles. This has mainly become an issue because officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission recommended that Americans staying within 50 miles of the Japanese nuclear power plant impacted by the country’s recent earthquake should evacuate the area. Vanderhoef assured the crowd that the 10 mile radius would remain and that it was sufficient for evacuation.

“What NRC was they made a decision, in the Japanese plants, to tell Americans to evacuate within 50 miles of those plants,” Vanderhoef explained. “The reason they did that was because they could not get enough information from the Japanese authorities and the Tokyo Power authority, and they were fearing the worst, so they made a very conservative judgment to do 50 miles. […] So the question that is now is everybody’s mind is, ‘Is it 10 miles or is it 50 miles?’ The answer is going to be it’s 10 miles, but the NRC is going to have to explain themselves […] and then explain it to the public as to why the 10 mile limit is scientifically appropriate for purposes of getting out. “

Vanderhoef later pointed out that the 10 mile radius is in effect throughout the country, not just for the area surrounding Indian Point.

But, Vanderhoef said, no matter how often they practice these plans, something could still go wrong, especially in an area with so many people. Thus he stated that we must discuss whether alternative means of creating electricity might be better for this community, even if they are more expensive. He also suggested perhaps moving the plant to an area that is less densely populated.

“I just think there’s too much of a risk,” he said of Indian Point. “Why not biomass? Wind power? Different natural gas power? I understand it may be more expensive. Build a nuclear plant somewhere else, just not there.”

A final questioner asked Vanderhoef what they could do about this issue. Vanderhoef responded that people could write to different government officials, and the main topic they should discuss is the criteria by which the NRC decides whether or not to recertify existing nuclear plants.

“When you recertify a plant, you should recertify the plant based on whether you would build that plant today in that same location,” he concluded. “[…] Base it on those criteria, and I would suggest to you Indian Point would not be recertified. But the NRC doesn’t do that. The rules and the law say that they recertify based only on reviewing whether there’s an enormous environmental damage that might take place if it were recertified and to assure that it’s fundamental operations are continuing and they’re not too old. […] So if you write [to the government tell them to], ask the NRC, or pass a law at the federal level that requires the NRC recertifying any plant to review as if it were a new plant.”

 

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Riverkeeper warns lawmakers of risks at Indian Point

 

http://www.lohud.com/article/20110412/NEWS02/104120333/Riverkeeper-warns-lawmakers-risks-Indian-Point?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CNews%7Cs

 

Written by

Jorge Fitz-Gibbon

WHITE PLAINS — It wouldn't take a tsunami to dangerously damage the Indian Point nuclear reactors, an environmentalist group told Westchester County legislators on Monday.

Speaking one month after an earthquake and tsunami set off a crisis at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, Hudson Riverkeeper Paul Gallay also told a county board committee that radioactive spent fuel pools at the Buchanan reactors are Indian Point's "Achilles' heel."

"All of these issues do not require a tsunami, which is one of the things that Indian Point says, and says that we should be easy in our minds because we won't have a tsunami," Gallay said. "Well, if this plant is not equipped to handle an earthquake without a tsunami, we could be in the situation we find ourselves in in Japan."

"There are issues associated with the age of the plant that have to do with corrosion of piping, that have to do with metal fatigue in the containment dome, that have to do with embrittlement of the containment dome," he said.

The public meeting, held at the Michaelian Westchester County Office Building in White Plains, is the last in a series held by Legislator Michael Kaplowitz, D-Somers, and Legislator Martin Rogowsky, D-Harrison.

Kaplowitz chairs the board's Committee on Environment and Energy ; Rogowsky chairs the Public Safety and Security Committee.

"Whether Indian Point is open or closed, we're going to need an evacuation plan because of the spent fuel that is at Indian Point," Kaplowitz said Monday.

"So we're going to deal with this issue for as much as 10,000 years, the scientists tell us," he said. "And certainly dry cask as much as 100 years in the current format, and the spent fuel as it currently exists for some period of time."

Kaplowitz said the continuing nuclear crisis at Japan's Fukushima plant warrants close scrutiny of Indian Point, which sits near an earthquake fault.

Federal and state officials have also made nuclear safety a priority, prompting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to assure that Indian Point will top the list when the agency conducts more thorough seismic assesments of the nation's nuclear plants.

 

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http://www.acorn-online.com/joomla15/lewisboroledger/opinion/letters/90300-indian-points-danger-threat-is-real.html

 

Indian Point’s danger threat is real

Thursday, 07 April 2011 00:00

To the Editors:

In J. D. Piro’s last column he reports that Nan Hayworth and Robert Castelli agree that “while safety is their paramount concern, the likelihood of a Japan-style tragedy at Indian Point is fairly low, since a tsunami hasn’t hit the North Atlantic coast since, well, never.” A simple googling of “nuclear accidents” will yield a seemingly endless list of disturbing events from just scary to breathtaking.

Major failures don’t have to involve a tsunami. Recent studies by Columbia University seismologists have revealed that fault lines near Indian Point have the potential to give rise to magnitude 7 earthquakes, higher than the design criteria used for the plant. The more basic fallacy here is that there could be some acceptable level of risk we are willing to take against worst-case scenarios for the metro region. No private company has the right to foist this unlimited risk on us. Ms. Hayworth is very free with references to the wonders of liberty and free markets as solutions for just about everything, yet we hear nothing from her about the corporate socialism represented by the legislative cap on liability provided to the nuclear industry by the Price Anderson Act (effectively making you their insurer).

Area towns, including Lewisboro (2004) and officials at all levels have demanded that we not relicense Indian Point. Mr. Castelli has been supportive of green energy initiatives; I hope he will come out clearly against Indian Point. Ms. Hayworth has a much larger leap to make to join her constituents.

DAN WELSH

South Salem, April 4

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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/05/science/05lett-reactions.html?_r=2&emc=tnt&tntemail0=y

 

Nuclear Reactions

 

To the Editor:

 

“Idiotic” would be a more accurate than “probabilistic” as a characterization of the risk model used by the nuclear industry.

 

The Indian Point nuclear power plant, 24 miles from New York City, exemplifies the defiance of common sense. The plant has an extensive history of safety problems, including fires, explosions, cooling system malfunctions, backup generator failures, emergency communication system breakdowns, pipe breaks and radiation leaks.

 

A few years back, testing revealed that a fire protection system for critical electrical cables was defective, subject to rapid disintegration and a potential threat to safe reactor shutdown in the event of fire. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission simply recalibrated potential fire duration to 24 minutes and gave Indian Point an exemption to federal fire safety rules. (The nuclear plant fire which had led to the rules, by the way, had lasted nearly seven hours.)

 

Michel Lee

Scarsdale, N.Y.

 

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Japan's nuclear crisis reshapes landscape for Indian Point's relicensing

Apr 3, 2011  


http://www.lohud.com/article/20110403/NEWS01/104030360/0/special18/Japan-s-nuclear-crisis-reshapes-landscape-Indian-Point-s-relicensing-

BUCHANAN — Indian Point faced more hurdles on its way to extending its operating license than any other nuclear plant in the nation before the Fukushima meltdown — now the course ahead appears even tougher.

"The longer the plant in Japan keeps spewing radiation, the worse it is for the nuclear industry," said Phillip Musegaas, a policy analyst for the environmental group Riverkeeper. "If I were on the other side, I would say we have to work very hard to get this off the news cycle and get back to business as usual."

The landscape for relicensing nuclear plants for an additional 20 years of operation was a pretty friendly environment prior to March 11, when the worst recorded earthquake in Japan's history and a huge followup tsunami knocked out the Fukushima reactors.

Subsequent fires sent radioactive fallout soaring into the atmosphere and across the Pacific Ocean as far as the United States.

Until Fukushima, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's record when it came to relicensing had been a perfect 63 and 0 — none of the atom plants that applied had been turned down.

Now that it's Indian Point's turn — regardless of events in Japan — officials from the plant's owner, Entergy Nuclear, don't believe the relicensing review should change four years into the process.

Entergy wants to extend the plant's right to create electricity through 2035 rather than see its daily $2 million production cut off by the end of 2015.

"With the focus appropriately on aging management, there should be no reason that what we're witnessing in Japan should have any impact on relicensing," said Indian Point spokesman Jim Steets. "That doesn't mean it shouldn't have any regulatory impact."

Steets said all the issues dominating the televised reports from Fukushima — including spent fuel pools overheating and releasing radiation, evacuations and earthquake risk — are part of ongoing regulations and plants could shut down in a day if regulators felt one wasn't safe.

NRC officials have long said they don't look at those issues during a relicensing review because those factors are part of day-to-day operations.

"There is no active discussion regarding changing our regulations on license renewal. They were developed over many years," said NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan. "Dozens of plants have gone through it, and we believe it focuses on aspects of plant operation that are most important: environmental issues and managing aging."

Indian Point already has plenty on its relicensing plate, including:

• more official arguments against relicensing than any other U.S. plant.

• New York state opposing the extension, the only state in 50 to do so.

• a water-use permit from the state that may require the construction of new cooling technology costing up to $1 billion.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for a safety review of Indian Point after the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

Eric Schneiderman, Cuomo's successor as state attorney general, has petitioned the NRC to consider potential earthquake damage before renewing the operating licenses for the local plant as well as the nation's 102 other commercial reactors.

"The safety review of Indian Point should be rigorous, and if there's new information that comes along, such as seismic concerns, this would be an appropriate occasion to factor those in," John Sipos, the assistant attorney general who has been working on Indian Point issues for nearly five years. "This site was selected back in 1955 by the federal government and (former owner) Con Edison, before there were many siting regulations at all, seismic-wise or population-wise."

Sipos said there is little chance the site would have been approved today.

"It is important for real-world facts, as they take place, to be factored in," Sipos said.

With the Fukushima crisis fresh in people's minds, opponents such as Riverkeeper are getting phone calls from former activists energized with new concern and organizing anti-plant meetings in New York City.

"The people who have been concerned about Indian Point had kind of dropped off," Musegaas said.

"All of a sudden there's a swarm of activity. And there's a lot of interest from our members who weren't so concerned about the plant before," Musegaas said.

He said a recent meeting in Manhattan drew 40 to 50 residents, many concerned about being included in an evacuation for a 50-mile radius of the plant.

Steets said the danger concerns were overblown and would abate as the industry is able to show it is prepared for natural disasters.

NRC officials have long said they don't look at those issues during a relicensing review because those factors are part of day-to-day operations.

"There is no active discussion regarding changing our regulations on license renewal. They were developed over many years," said NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan. "Dozens of plants have gone through it, and we believe it focuses on aspects of plant operation that are most important: environmental issues and managing aging."

Indian Point already has plenty on its relicensing plate, including:

• more official arguments against relicensing than any other U.S. plant.

• New York state opposing the extension, the only state in 50 to do so.

• a water-use permit from the state that may require the construction of new cooling technology costing up to $1 billion.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for a safety review of Indian Point after the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

Eric Schneiderman, Cuomo's successor as state attorney general, has petitioned the NRC to consider potential earthquake damage before renewing the operating licenses for the local plant as well as the nation's 102 other commercial reactors.

"The safety review of Indian Point should be rigorous, and if there's new information that comes along, such as seismic concerns, this would be an appropriate occasion to factor those in," John Sipos, the assistant attorney general who has been working on Indian Point issues for nearly five years. "This site was selected back in 1955 by the federal government and (former owner) Con Edison, before there were many siting regulations at all, seismic-wise or population-wise."

Sipos said there is little chance the site would have been approved today.

"It is important for real-world facts, as they take place, to be factored in," Sipos said.

With the Fukushima crisis fresh in people's minds, opponents such as Riverkeeper are getting phone calls from former activists energized with new concern and organizing anti-plant meetings in New York City.

"The people who have been concerned about Indian Point had kind of dropped off," Musegaas said.

"All of a sudden there's a swarm of activity. And there's a lot of interest from our members who weren't so concerned about the plant before," Musegaas said.

He said a recent meeting in Manhattan drew 40 to 50 residents, many concerned about being included in an evacuation for a 50-mile radius of the plant.

Steets said the danger concerns were overblown and would abate as the industry is able to show it is prepared for natural disasters.

###

 

Activists Call For Indian Point Nuclear Complex’s Closure

 

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/04/02/activists-to-call-for-indian-point-nuclear-complexs-closure/

 

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The ongoing disaster in Japan has renewed efforts by activists to shut down the Indian Point Nuclear Complex.

Roughly 20 activists gathered at Union Square on Saturday afternoon to call for the plant to be shut down.

Operators of the plant, which is located 40 miles north of New York City, said their two nuclear reactors are safe from all types of dangers. What happened in Japan won’t happen here, they said.

 

But some people say Indian Point is a disaster waiting to happen.

 

“The Indian Point Power Plant is located near the intersection of two earthquake faults. Nuclear energy cannot be safe. Plutonium can contaminate the environment for hundreds of years. Studies show that New York City could not be evacuated in time,” protester Tom Syracuse said.

 

One person said on a YouTube post that the plant’s frequent siren tests are leading residents to believe that everything in the future could just be a test and not a real emergency.

 

“If you have to test them so much to see if they work right, how will people react when there’s an actual problem?” the man said.

 

One of the problems people fear could be an earthquake like the one in Japan.

 

There are some fault lines near the plant, but geological experts say the chance of a earthquake happening hear are slim.

 

Some people also worry about the plant being a target for terrorists.

 

###

 

http://www.lohud.com/article/20110403/OPINION/104030325/1076/opinion03/Indian-Point-nuclear-plant-far-from-fail-safe

Indian Point nuclear plant is far from fail-safe

 Written by    Gary Shaw   10:48 PM, Apr. 2, 2011|

 The nuclear tragedy still unfolding in Japan should serve as a wakeup call for residents of this region that there is no certainty with nuclear power plants.

 

Indian Point 3 has just been named by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission as the nuclear reactor in the U.S. that is most likely to suffer reactor core damage due to an earthquake and the stated odds of that happening in any given year are higher

than the odds of winning $100 in the Powerball lottery. The plant was built in close proximity to the intersection of two seismic faults, but only one was known when it was built. It was not built to withstand the earthquake magnitude that scientists from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University say is possible.

 

Another potential complication is the high pressure natural gas lines that sit almost directly under the plant. If they ruptured and ignited because of an earthquake, imagine the challenge to control them while trying to maintain the safety systems for the

nuclear plant, especially since the NRC recently changed fire protection requirements. Insulating fire wrap that protects safety system wires were required to maintain integrity for one hour, but they reduced the requirement to 24-minutes because they discovered that the wrap will not withstand an hour of fire. 

 

We also have a stockpile of 35 years of radioactive waste at Indian Point. Entergy has said the reactor containment building was built to withstand a 6.1 earthquake. The spent fuel buildings were not built to the same standards. They have the same

type of steel roof that WalMart has in the Cortlandt Town Center.

 

If the electricity flow to the necessary water pumps was interrupted, backup diesel generators are supposed to kick in. However, during the 2003 blackout, one of their generators that would have powered their communications did not work, so if an emergency had occurred, they would have had difficulties coordinating efforts with first responders. If the generator that pumps cooling water were to stop, we could see the same problem that Japan is experiencing right now. There is a lot more radioactive material in the spent fuel pools than in the reactors. Now imagine that the electricity was interrupted and the gas line ruptured simultaneously. Do you believe that can't happen in an earthquake?

 

Nuclear generating plants can and do have very high impact events like the one we are seeing now, and the ones we have seen periodically over the last 30 years. Advocates for Indian Point will say things like, "we simply can't have a tsunami like Japan did."

That may be correct, but there was no earthquake or tsunami when Chernobyl exploded or when Three Mile Island had a core meltdown or when the Davis-Besse plant outside Toledo came within a quarter of an inch of breach of containment because of reactor dome corrosion in 2003.

 

Advocates for nuclear energy tell us that Indian Point can't have the same kinds of scenarios as Chernobyl, and that we learned from the misjudgments made at Three Mile Island and Davis Besse. Those statements are true. But no amount of training or learning or design modification will make the plants fail-safe, and that is the reason why I was told by Hubert Miller, the then-Regional Director of the NRC, in a public meeting, that "no one can ever guarantee that there will not be a radiation release event at any nuclear plant."

 

In fact, Indian Point has had numerous radiation releases, including the steam pipe explosion in February 2000 that sent radioactive steam into the atmosphere and irradiated water into the Hudson. That took IP2 offline for a year. We all know about the numerous leaks of radioactive water. IP is the only plant known to have leaked the highly carcinogenic Strontium 90 into the environment. Cancers from radiation exposure can show up soon or may not show up for decades.

 

I am not saying that a catastrophic event will definitely occur. I am saying that it could. And if the worst case happens, the consequences are simply too awful to imagine.  Former Westchester County Executive Andy Spano listened to both sides for two years after Sept. 11 and finally recognized that there were potential scenarios that simply could not be accepted. That's when he called for plant closure. Is that the risk we want to take for 2100 megawatts of electricity, of which Con Edison has contracted only 560 megawatts? Do we want 20-more years of operation to see if we are still lucky?

 

The writer, a resident of Croton-on-Hudson, is a member of the Steering Committee of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition

 

###

 

Activists Call For Indian Point Nuclear Complex’s Closure

April 2, 2011 7:19 PM 


http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/04/02/activists-to-call-for-indian-point-nuclear-complexs-closure

 

Protesters gathered at Union Square on Saturday to call for the Indian Point Power Plant to be shut down. (Credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The ongoing disaster in Japan has renewed efforts by activists to shut down the Indian Point Nuclear Complex.

Roughly 20 activists gathered at Union Square on Saturday afternoon to call for the plant to be shut down.

Operators of the plant, which is located 40 miles north of New York City, said their two nuclear reactors are safe from all types of dangers. What happened in Japan won’t happen here, they said.

LISTEN: WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall reports on the protest

But some people say Indian Point is a disaster waiting to happen.

“The Indian Point Power Plant is located near the intersection of two earthquake faults. Nuclear energy cannot be safe. Plutonium can contaminate the environment for hundreds of years. Studies show that New York City could not be evacuated in time,” protester Tom Syracuse said.

One person said on a YouTube post that the plant’s frequent siren tests are leading residents to believe that everything in the future could just be a test and not a real emergency.

 

###

 

WPIX on Indian Point’s Evacuation Plan

 

http://www.wpix.com/videobeta/63a5d948-a1ef-4263-9607-6eaf4c4a39f6/News/Indian-Point-FEMA-Evacuation-Plan

 Call it FEMA's version of show and tell: its evaluation of Indian Point's evacuation plan... is out. And it's not good. Lolita Lopez has the story from Buchanan in Westchester County.

###

 

Editorial Spotlight: Indian Point

http://www.LoHud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011103300306

 

11:59 PM, Mar. 29, 2011

What information don't regulators consider when relicensing nuclear power plants, including the two reactors at Indian Point?

The answers from Drs. Lynn Sykes and Klaus Jacob of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades might surprise you.

In an Editorial Spotlight interview on Tuesday, they discussed earthquakes, the concepts of hazard and risk, and other issues related to the future of Indian Point.

 

To watch the interview, visit www.lohud.com/editorialspotlight; click "videos" and select the interview from the menu.

 

###

 

Should Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Be Shut Down?

by Sarah Laskow

Monday, March 28th, 2011
http://www.thirteen.org/stateroom/indian-point-nuclear-energy

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has long opposed the nuclear power plant at Indian Point and has been speaking since the Japanese nuclear crisis about the possibility of closing it for good. For New Yorkers who agree that the nuclear power plant at Indian Point should cease operations, there is a simple way to further that goal: stop buying the plant’s electricity.

Most residents of New York City are Con Edison customers, and Con Edison depends on Indian Point for power. Con Edison, though, is primarily a transmission company. It buys the electricity and brings it to consumers. Those who depend on Con Edison to keep their lights on can choose to accept the energy mix (and the price) that the company offers. But they also have the option of buying their power elsewhere and having Con Edison deliver it.

Which means that it’s possible for an individual to cut ties with Indian Point now. NYPIRG has put together a list of alternative energy options: in the New York City area, consumers can choose to buy energy generated from wind and hydropower. These options are a bit more pricey: They cost an additional one or two cents per kilowatt-hour, and plans that contain 100% wind power are more expensive than those that draw from a mix of renewable sources. Over the course of a year, these additional costs total about $50 to $100 extra dollars for the average customer.

As a state, New York has been cementing its commitment to these alternative energy resources: The state’s current goal is to have 30% of electricity comes from renewable sources by 2015. According to the latest figures available from the New York ISO, which helps run and monitor the state’s electricity system, 22% of all electricity generated in the state comes from renewable resources. The vast majority of that (19% of all generation) comes from hydropower.

Right now, the majority of Indian Point’s spent fuel is stored in the same sort of cooling tanks that proved a problem at Fukushima. If the plant was decommissioned, the fuel would likely be stored differently, in dry casks.

But while the state — and the city — depend heavily on nuclear power for electricity, Con Edison is decreasing the amount of power it is contracted to buy from Indian Point over the next few years, from 1000 megawatts in 2009, to 850 MW in 2010, to 350 MW this year and next. The company still says, however, that approximately 30% of the power it delivers to New York and Westchester County comes from the plant. And in New York State as a whole, 32% of electricity generated relies on nuclear power, according to NYISO. (There are four other reactors in the state, the majority of them clustered outside of Oswego, NY, near Lake Ontario.)

Shutting down Indian Point would mean finding a different source for that portion of the electricity New Yorkers use. The NYISO, in a report published near the close of 2010, wrote that if Indian Point were to close, it would create reliability problems for the New York area electricity grid — in other words, the likelihood of blackouts and brownouts occurring would exceed acceptable limits.

Cuomo’s office reiterated last week that the governor believes the state will be able to find enough new sources to make up the gap.

But where will it come from? Although the thought of a nuclear meltdown 20 miles from New York City can be unnerving, nuclear does have certain advantages over other fuel sources for electricity generation. New York City’s fuel mix produces emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide significantly lower than the national average. Carbon dioxide emissions, for instance, are 54% of the national average emissions rate. The better carbon emissions rates are one of the reasons that national leaders, including President Obama, have been staunch nuclear supporters.

In New York, the alternatives to nuclear come with their own baggage. Wind power only accounts for a tiny slice of the state’s electricity, and new wind projects cannot account for the amount of electricity Indian Point generates. And wind power doesn’t necessarily account for most new growth in this sector, either. “Currently most of the larger generators coming online are high efficiency combined cycle natural gas generators,” Ken Klapp, a spokesman for NYISO, told State Room. Closing Indian Point could mean relying more heavily on natural gas, extracted by controversial hydrofracking techniques.

Even if the state does succeed in finding replacement sources for Indian Point, closing Indian Point won’t mean that New York City is immediately safe from the hazards of nearby nuclear materials. The process of decommissioning a nuclear plant takes years. Indian Point hosts three nuclear reactors; one is already inactive, but Entergy, which owns all three, has delayed decommissioning it until a second reactor ceases operations.

Decommissioning doesn’t necessarily require Entergy to move the nuclear materials left over from the generation process from the decommissioned site. There’s still no national facility for storing used nuclear material, and it’s common for nuclear materials to remain on the site of a decommissioned plant.

The federal government requires companies that own nuclear reactors to set aside funds to decommission their plants and draft a plan to decommission them, so in theory, Entergy should be prepared to shut down the plant, should its bid to renew the reactors’ licenses fail. In 2009, however, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission discovered that Entergy’s fund for decommissioning one Indian Point reactor fell short. In 2010, the company and the NRC agreed that Entergy could store nuclear materials onsite until 2063, under conditions that safely allow the radioactivity to decay.

Right now, the majority of Indian Point’s spent fuel is stored in the same sort of cooling tanks that proved a problem at Fukushima. If the plant was decommissioned, the fuel would likely be stored differently, in dry casks. In this storage method, the spent fuel is placed in steel casks, which are in turn stored in ventilated concrete capsules. Since 2008, Entergy has stored some of its spent fuel in dry casks, which the NRC says would keep the materials safe during an earthquake.

“They’re designed to not move during earthquake activity,” Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the NRC, said. “Unlike the spent fuel pools, they don’t use water, pumps or valves. They don’t use electricity. They’re very self-sufficient.”

 

###

Closing NY nuclear power plant would hike bills 6%

 

By Steve Hargreaves, senior writer
March 28, 2011: 5:45 PM ET

 

http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/28/news/economy/nuclear_indian_point/index.htm

 

New York (CNNMoney) -- Closing the much-criticized Indian Point nuclear power plant just north of New York City would add an additional 6% to monthly utility bills, according to area utility Consolidated Edison.

 

That translates into an extra $65 a year for the typical New York City resident, based on numbers provided by the utility.

 

"That's really cheap insurance to make sure we don't have a catastrophic release of radiation," said Marilyn Elie, who lives two miles from the plant and has been trying to get it closed for the last 17 years.

 

If Indian Point is shut, Con Edison would buy the lost electricity on the open market, most likely from the cheapest possible energy source. The utility said that would probably be a mix of electricity generated from coal and natural gas.

 

Calls to shut the power plant, located 25 miles north of the city, have grown louder in recent weeks as the crisis at Japan's quake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi facility continues.

 

Find the nuclear power plant closest to you

 

The operating licenses for Indian Point's two reactors expire in 2013 and 2015. The utility that owns the plant, New Orleans-based Entergy (ETR, Fortune 500), has applied to extend the licenses for another 20 years, but opponents of the plant are hoping the tragedy in Japan will highlight the dangers of nuclear power here in the United States.

 

What's next for nuclear power?

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a longtime critic of the plant who has in the past called it "a catastrophe waiting to happen," has reiterated his position in recent days that it should be shut.

 

Cuomo is joined by other governors who want plants shut in their states, including the governor of Vermont.

 

Unlike New York state, which relies on the federal government's Nuclear Regulatory Commission and has no authority over relicensing, Vermont law gives the legislature a say in the decision.

 

The Vermont legislature recently voted to deny the license extension for its only nuke plant, Vermont Yankee, although the NRC approved it. The plant is the same design as the Fukushima Daiichi facility.

 

A court showdown now looms.

 

In New York, the chief concern at Indian Point is that it's an aging plant located so close to a major population center -- some 20 million people live within the plant's 50-mile fallout zone. Critics say evacuation would be impossible, and that its proximity to all those people makes it an inviting target for terrorists.

 

The plant is also built on an active fault line. Entergy, which bought the plant from Con Edison (ED, Fortune 500) in 2001, says it can withstand an earthquake of 6.1 in magnitude, larger than that largest quake to ever hit the area. But a recent Columbia study says magnitude of 7.0 tremor is possible.

"Indian Point is now considered the most dangerous plant in the country when it comes to the risk of meltdown due to earthquake," the environmental group Riverkeeper wrote on its Web site. "It is our position that until Indian Point is proven safe, it should be closed."

 

Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi said the plant meets all the criteria imposed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

 

He believes the plant could even withstand a 7.0 quake, which is about twenty three times more powerful than one of 6.1 magnitude, because it was built with so many redundancies in mind. (See correction)

 

Plus, it's got a containment system comprised of steel-reinforced concrete four to six feet thick, built on solid bedrock.

 

The emergency plans the plant has in place are effective, he said, adding that "the industry always plans for the worst-case scenario."

 

Where will the power come from?

 

If Indian Point is closed, the main question is where the power to replace it will come from.

 

The facility generates some 2,000 megawatts of electricity, most of which is sold into the New York City area. About 30% of the region's power comes from Indian Point.

 

In a letter advocating keeping the plant open, Con Edison said 1,400 megawatts of power would have to be replaced if Indian Point is shut.

 

Most of that power, the utility said, would come from building new natural-gas fired power plants or importing electricity produced by burning coal.

Both of those options come with their own environmental risks -- namely air and water pollution.

 

Closing the plant would also result in a less diverse energy mix, potentially resulting in more price volatility for consumers, Con Edison said.

 

The utility also questioned whether new generating capacity would be built in time to avoid a power disruption if Indian Point was closed.

 

But there's nothing saying the new power must come from natural gas or coal.

 

Electricity from wind is another option.

 

Wind would be more expensive, although how much more is difficult to say.

 

While power generated from new wind farms is about 30% more expensive than power generated from new gas-fired power plants, it's only marginally more expensive than electricity from new coal plants, according to the Energy Information Administration.

 

Energy imported from existing coal-fired plants might be far cheaper than wind power.

 

But besides cost, there are other issues with wind -- it doesn't blow all the time and finding enough suitable sites to locate 1,400 megawatts worth of wind turbines may be difficult.

 

For Elie, the activist living near Indian Point, a solution can be found.

 

There are many companies producing electricity that would welcome the chance to sell 1,400 megawatts of power to Con Edison.

 

"It would be a business opportunity for the people who generate it," she said, pointing to the massive new offshore wind proposals backed by Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) and others. "The market will figure it out."

 

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that a 7.0 magnitude earthquake was about 100 times more powerful than a 6.1 magnitude quake. The 7.0 quake is actually 23 times more powerful. 

 

###

 

Indian Point 50-mile evacuation plan unrealistic

Published 25 March 2011
http://homelandsecuritynewswire.com/indian-point-50-mile-evacuation-plan-unrealistic

http://homelandsecuritynewswire.com/indian-point-50-mile-evacuation-plan-unrealistic

http://homelandsecuritynewswire.com/indian-point-50-mile-evacuation-plan-unrealistic

Located only thirty-five miles north of New York City, the most populous area in the United States, is the Indian Point nuclear reactor; safety officials are questioning the wisdom of operating a plant so close to New York City; a fifty mile evacuation radius around the plant would affect nearly twenty million people and some say evacuating that many people on short notice is a "fantasy"; NRC is currently conducting a thorough safety review of U.S. nuclear plants and the Indian Point reactor is one of seventeen under scrutiny; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently called for the plant to be shut down

Located only thirty-five miles north of New York City, the most populous area in the United States, is the Indian Point nuclear reactor. In light of recent events at Japan’s nuclear power plants, safety officials are questioning the wisdom of operating a plant so close to New York City.

At the height of the Japanese nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Chairman (NRC) Gregory Jaczko declared that a fifty mile evacuation zone should be established if a similar accident occurred in the United States.

These remarks have resulted in greater scrutiny of nuclear plants located near large population centers, particularly the Indian Point nuclear station.

A fifty mile evacuation around the plant would affect nearly twenty million people, and experts believe the logistics of evacuating that many people on short notice would be impossible.

Daniel P. Aldrich, a political science professor at Purdue University, said, “Many scholars have already argued that any evacuation plans shouldn’t be called plans, but rather ‘fantasy documents.’”

Indian Point’s current emergency plans primarily consist of evacuating roughly 300,000 in a ten mile radius. A twenty mile radius, like that imposed in Japan, would require evacuating nearly a million people and a fifty mile radius evacuation plan does not exist.

NRC is currently conducting a thorough safety review of U.S. nuclear plants and the Indian Point reactor is one of seventeen under scrutiny.

When asked if Indian Point should continue operating, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, “We’re going to have to look at whether this reactor should remain.”

“It’s an NRC decision, but the NRC will be looking at that, I’m sure, based on the events” in Japan, he added.

Secretary Chu also said that the plant’s evacuation plans were under review.

In 2003, then Governor George Pataki, ordered a thorough safety investigation to be conducted on the Indian Point reactor.

The report concluded that, “current radiological response system and capabilities are not adequate to overcome their combined weight and protect the people from an unacceptable dose of radiation in the event of a release from Indian Point.”

Current New York governor Andrew Cuomo recently called for the plant to be shut down.

He said, “It should be closed. This plant in this proximity to the city was never a good risk.”

Cuomo expressed concern over the fact that the reactor was located near a fault line.

“The suggestion is that of all the power plants across the country, that the Indian Point power plant is most susceptible to an earthquake because Reactor No. 3 is on a fault,” he said.

Indian Point supplies as much as 30 percent of New York City’s power and so far no plans have been announced to replace those supplies if the plant were shut down.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/03/17/2011-03-17_gov_risky_indian_point_should_be_shut.html - ixzz1HXUNVYwh

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http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/03/17/2011-03-17_gov_risky_indian_point_should_be_shut.html - ixzz1HXUNVYwh

Inside New York's Indian Point nuclear power plant

 March 24, 2011|By Allan Chernoff, CNN Senior Correspondent

 http://articles.cnn.com/2011-03-24/living/nuclear.plant.visit_1_nuclear-fuel-nuclear-power-plant-uranium-pellets

Stepping into the containment dome of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant No. 3 is almost surreal. It's like entering a movie set, but instead of walking by wooden props, we're passing through an 11-foot-thick concrete-and-steel wall.

This is the nuclear facility that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to shut down, the longtime target of both anti-nuclear and environmental activists, the nuclear power plant that sits only 25 miles from New York City.

Just a strip of yellow tape warning of radioactive danger separates me, my producer Sheila Steffen and cameramen Rod Griola and Ken Borland from white-uniformed technicians who are removing groups of nuclear fuel rods (204 rods are packaged together in each fuel assembly) and inserting new ones, a month-long process that takes place every two years.

Armed guards stand behind us, even after we have cleared three levels of tight security and a radiation briefing. Getting into the White House is easier, far easier.

Around my neck are two Indian Point security passes and two dosimeters that will measure the amount of radiation I receive: one will be sent for analysis to a laboratory, the other is an electronic-arming dosimeter, a real-time radiation detector set to beep if I were to receive a dose of 100 millirems per hour. (During our radiation briefing we are told a chest X-ray delivers 8 millirems.)

A massive 100-ton steel plug hangs from cables. Below, workers surround the nuclear core, which is underwater. They control machinery that delicately moves the fuel assemblies through a water-filled canal connected to the spent fuel pool, where rods filled with uranium pellets cool down for years. There are nearly 50,000 uranium pellets in each fuel assembly collection of rods.

Pumps keep water circulating into the pool so it remains at a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (compared to the 2,100 degrees that nuclear fuel can reach before it would meltdown). So, keeping the power on here is essential to averting disaster.

Indian Point receives its power from the same electric grid to which it contributes. If the power goes out -- and it briefly did only three weeks ago due to a utility technician's error -- backup diesel generators kick in to keep the plant functioning. That's exactly what happened during the recent outage. Each of Indian Point's two reactors have three auxiliary diesel generators, and then there are separately located backups to those backups as well as diesel-driven fire pumps that can keep the spent fuel rod pools filled. It's all designed to avoid the kind of catastrophe that occurred at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Plant managers spend lots of time thinking about potential emergencies and how to avert them.

"Our plant is designed to handle the worst natural disaster. Our people are trained. We have many layers of redundancy," said Joseph Dinelli, director of operations at Indian Point.

The plant is built to withstand at least a 6.0-magnitude earthquake, greater than the region has ever experienced, though researchers at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory warn a 7.0 is not out of the realm of possibility since they have determined the plant is built near the intersection of two active seismic zones.

"We believe that we can handle a (magnitude) 7 earthquake," said Joseph Pollock, vice president of operations for Entergy, the plant's owner. "The theoretically highest predicted earthquake in this area would be of a magnitude where our plant design will be able to withstand that and we would be able to respond and shut the plant down in a safe manner."

In truth, Indian Point's operators say, a severe hurricane is a far more likely event, for which they also have extensive contingency plans.

During the month-long refueling process at unit No. 3, the containment dome's hatch remains open. To be prepared for a natural hazard -- or even the possibility of an attack -- Indian Point keeps a giant plug sitting on a massive forklift nearby that plant workers can shove into place within 15 minutes to protect the reactor.

Such precautions and procedures are part of Entergy's application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a 20-year operating license renewal. Unit No. 3's license expires in 2015, unit No. 2 in 2013. (Indian Point shut down its original reactor, No. 1, in 1974).

Back inside the dome, after technicians vertically lift a 12-foot fuel assembly from the nuclear core, they turn it horizontally and move it along a water-filled canal to the adjacent building that houses the spent fuel pool where the assembly is positioned in an upright rack for cooling, which takes years.

The pool is about 40 feet deep, surrounded by 6 feet of concrete on all sides and it has a greenish tint to it. Workers stand on metal ramps overhead, prepared to accept the next spent fuel assembly. My electronic arming dosimeter registers a .3 millirem, its first detection of radiation.

In a locked, plexiglass-enclosed case not far from the pool sit brand new fuel assemblies fresh from Westinghouse, waiting their turn for a swim to the nuclear reactor core.

As precise as the underwater operations are, they are not without flaw. In unit No. 2, Indian Point's other active plant, there has been a relatively small leak during refueling that officials say has let out as much as eight gallons of contaminated water a day into the containment dome area.

"We haven't found the exact location of the leak to be able to do the repair and stop it," said Pollock. "We're working with a couple of firms. Right now there's a technique being used in Germany that we're trying to see if it would work here and we're going through that evaluation right now."

Pollock says the leak is neither cause for concern nor a safety hazard since it's within one of the reactor domes.

As we leave the spent fuel pool, we hand in both our dosimeters for analysis before stepping into a device that detects if we've picked up any contaminants on our clothing or shoes. I step in, push my chest against the oversized metal detector style contraption, wait an uncomfortably long 30 seconds, then do the same with my back up against the device.

My heartbeat slows as I step through the locked security gate and walk back towards the largest part of the nuclear plant: the power-generating room.

This is where the steam that's created from the nuclear reactor flows through huge tubes to turn giant turbines that power the generator that produces the electricity Indian Point sends off to the grid. Each plant generates 1,000 megawatts of power, providing as much as 30% of the electricity for New York and Westchester County. Since unit No. 3 is undergoing refueling, workers are busy maintaining and upgrading the turbines and generator.

Both Indian Point plants are pressurized water reactors, as opposed to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, which is a boiling water reactor. Pressurized reactors aren't necessarily safer than boiling water reactors, they just employ a different technique to harness the heat generated by nuclear fission to produce steam.

As the nuclear crisis unfolds in Japan, Indian Point officials say they're hoping for details that might help operations here.

"Undoubtedly we will come back with lessons learned to continue to improve our safety margins and increase them even further," said Pollack.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is initiating a safety review of Indian Point and all other U.S. nuclear power facilities, as part of its response to the crisis in Japan.

 ###

http://articles.cnn.com/2011-03-24/living/nuclear.plant.visit_1_nuclear-fuel-nuclear-power-plant-uranium-pellets

Experts: Indian Point Evaucation Impossible

Updated: Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011, 12:19 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011, 11:57 AM EDT

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/03/17/2011-03-17_gov_risky_indian_point_should_be_shut.html - ixzz1HXUNVYwh

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/03/17/2011-03-17_gov_risky_indian_point_should_be_shut.html - ixzz1HXUNVYwh

.                    

MYFOXNY.COM - On direction of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is evaluating the safety of the Indian Point Nuclear Reactor site in Westchester County.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/03/17/2011-03-17_gov_risky_indian_point_should_be_shut.html - ixzz1HXUNVYwh

Located along the Hudson River, the reactor also sits on a seismic fault line.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/03/17/2011-03-17_gov_risky_indian_point_should_be_shut.html - ixzz1HXUNVYwh

Following the earthquake in Japan that lead to destruction and imminent danger at nuclear plants there, local leaders have their eyes on Indian Point.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/03/17/2011-03-17_gov_risky_indian_point_should_be_shut.html - ixzz1HXUNVYwh

Good Day New York spoke with an environmental expert and a local legislator about the dangers people in the Tri-State Region could face if Indian Point were to release significant radiation.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/03/17/2011-03-17_gov_risky_indian_point_should_be_shut.html - ixzz1HXUNVYwh

"We're looking at a population of one million (if the evacuation zone were extended to 50 miles.) It's not realistic. It won't happen," said Westchester Legislator Peter Harckham.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/03/17/2011-03-17_gov_risky_indian_point_should_be_shut.html - ixzz1HXUNVYwh

And the reasons for an evacuation due to dangerous activity at Indian Point could range from a steam pipe explosion to flooding.

An evacuation would be only one of the many problems people in the Tri-State Region would face.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/03/17/2011-03-17_gov_risky_indian_point_should_be_shut.html - ixzz1HXUNVYwh

"New York water goes through Westchester. If New York City drinking water became radioactive, you'd have to dump that water. How long could you go without water?" said Kaplowitz.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/03/17/2011-03-17_gov_risky_indian_point_should_be_shut.html - ixzz1HXUNVYwh

###

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/03/17/2011-03-17_gov_risky_indian_point_should_be_shut.html - ixzz1HXUNVYwh

Riverkeeper’s Paul Gallay vs. Entergy's Jim Steets

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqpop3D3inU&feature=channel_video_title

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqpop3D3inU  



Riverkeeper's Paul Gallay and Entergy spokesman Jim Steets debate on News 12. The topic, Indian Point the nuclear power plant that is located in Westchester county NY.

###

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqpop3D3inU

Dr Michio Kaku on the David Letterman Show (video), March 21, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqpop3D3inU

What are the best-and-worst-case scenarios for the nuclear crisis in

Japan?  Theoretical physics professor and author Dr. Michio Kaku

shares his opinions on Fukushima and Indian Point in New York.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqpop3D3inU

http://www.cbs.com/late_night/late_show/video/?pid=n1AcQtAmhQHkFC0kU5sbz37XRoDcir_z

http://www.cbs.com/late_night/late_show/video/?pid=n1AcQtAmhQHkFC0kU5sbz37XRoDcir_z

http://www.cbs.com/late_night/late_show/video/?pid=n1AcQtAmhQHkFC0kU5sbz37XRoDcir_z

###

http://www.cbs.com/late_night/late_show/video/?pid=n1AcQtAmhQHkFC0kU5sbz37XRoDcir_z

Energy secretary wants closer look at Indian Point safety

EmpireStateNews. Net

WASHINGTON – US Energy Secretary Steven Chu, appearing on Sunday morning news shows, said the evacuation plans for the Indian Point nuclear power plants should be “looked at and studied in greater detail.”  

Some 21 million people live within a 50-mile radius of Indian Point, 24 miles north of New York City.  Fifty miles is the radius ordered evacuated around the tsunami-damaged nuclear plants in Japan. 

Defenders of Indian Point say the plant is well-designed to withstand more than the kind of earthquakes known to occur in the northeast.

Congressman Eliot Engel (D-Westchester-Rockland), who has long called for the closure of the Buchanan plants, has written to Chu urging him to “take a close look” at Indian Point and the rest of the nation’s nuclear power.

“I’m glad people are finally waking up,” he said. “I’m sorry that it took a tsunami and a people being killed to wake up people, but this is what I have been saying for years.”

Chu said the issue of relicensing Indian Point is one that is up to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. But, in his letter to the secretary, Engel said the NRC has given out license renewals to power plants “without, I believe, adequate study of real issues confronting these plants.”

###

http://www.empirestatenews.net/News/20110321-1.html

Indian Point Discusses Safety Concerns with Cortlandt Officials

http://rye.patch.com/articles/cortlandt-town-board-questions-indian-point-on-safety

During a presentation by Entergy's Indian Point officials on the safety of its nuclear reactors, Units 2 and 3, the Cortlandt Town Board asked questions and discussed the safety of the plant in light of Japan's nuclear catastrophe.

By Liz Giegerich | Email the author | 2:00am

Entergy officials from Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC) provided the Cortlandt Town Board with a presentation on the nuclear power plant located in the Village of Buchanan at last night’s work session. The Entergy officials focused on the catastrophe in Japan, and how it would be virtually impossible for the same environmental factors to occur in the northeastern United States; Indian Point’s design features versus Fukushima Daiichi’s features; IPEC’s emergency and severe accident management preparedness; and current industry initiatives that will analyze lessons learned in Japan and then apply them to IPEC.

Supervisor Linda Puglisi and Town board members pressed the Entergy officials on safety and other issues such as the need for an improved evacuation plan, the age and accuracy of a few of their statistics and the number of active and stored fuel rods, among many other questions.

“We have an obligation to ask pertinent and important questions and to disseminate information to our community,” said Supervisor Puglisi.

Entergy Vice President of License Renewal Fred Dacimo talked through an approximately 30-minute long power-point presentation, stopping to field questions from Puglisi and council members. Mike Slobodien, Entergy director of emergency planning also answered questions more specific to his area of expertise. Four other Entergy officials were also present and some answered questions relevant to their areas: John Curry, Senior Project Manager for the License renewal project; Charles Caputo, an Indian Point consultant; Jerry Nappi, Manager of Indian Point Communications; and Debbie Fay, government affairs for Indian Point.

Here is a summary of the presentation and discussion:

Fukushima Daiichi

Dacimo said that at this point they are receiving conflicting and incomplete reports from Japan but that they believe the tsunami knocked out the emergency power that had kicked in when the earthquake began and then diesel power functioned but quickly ran out.

Explosions followed due to the hydrogen gas air mixture so seawater was added to cover fuel rods, but these reports are unconfirmed.

“It is impossible to fully understand what happened (at this point),” Slobodien said. “The lessons that come out of that will be reviewed for applicability to United States nuclear reactors.”

Design

As Patch reported last week, Indian Point is designed to withstand an earthquake of a magnitude 6 on the Richter scale, which is greater in size than the area has ever experienced. Indian point is not susceptible to the type of earthquake that occurred in Japan because of the different geology and tectonics in the U.S. East coast region. IP is also not susceptible to the tsunami that followed and ultimately removed the cooling capability of the Japanese plants because of the geometry of the Hudson and its distance from the Atlantic Ocean.

Dacimo noted that Charle F. Richter, who developed the Richter Scale stated that the earthquakes in the Ramapo region, which IP is located within, are “of minor magnitude and are relatively trivial.”

Puglisi pointed out that Richter said that decades ago, to which Dacimo replied his scientists would still say the same now.

Puglisi said that since Entergy took ownership of the nuclear plant in 2001, the company has not been asked to modify its structure based on any geological information.

“This is a concern because things change,” Puglisi said.

“And our understanding of things change too,” added Councilman Frank Farrell.

“Things change on time scale that is very long for us, but is very short compared to the age of the earth,” Dacimo said.

Flooding

IPEC is not susceptible to a tsunami, as mentioned above, and Dacimo explained that the plant is also designed to be protected against natural phenomenon including hurricanes, floods and storm surges.

Puglisi asked how IPEC faired during Hurricane Floyd, the 1999 hurricane that caused torrential rainfall and high winds in the area. Indian Point official John Curry said that the plant can withstand flooding up to 15 feet and did not flood during Floyd.

Equipment Capabilities

IPEC officials said that IP2 and IP3 have redundant and diverse features to address emergency conditions. They have multiple emergency backup power generators capable of shutting down the plant in the event of a total loss of all offsite power. They also have fuel supplies that are protected from maximum floods or located at elevations above the maximum flood levels.

When asked by Puglisi, Dacimo explained that the on-site diesel back-up fuel could operate for seven days and back up battery could last from two to eight hours, depending on the load.

The power point presentation included a slide that stated a steam driven auxiliary feed water pump can supply cooling water to the stream generators and cool the reactor in the unlikely event of a complete loss of electrical power. Also, the reactor can be cooled by natural circulation through the reactor and one side of the steam generators upon a loss of AC power.

Emergency and Severe Accident Procedures and Guidance

Dacimo explained that plant operators are equipped and trained to manage severe natural and plant-centered emergencies and strategies have been developed to address emergency conditions. Such procedures and guidance were developed following the Three Mile Island initiatives and the 9/11 terrorist attack. The plant has procedures for many different situations, among those listed were: core cooling, steam generator cooling, external reactor vessel cooling, reduction of fission product release, reduction of hydrogen and control containment.

Current Initiatives

A comprehensive review of Indian Point’s ability to respond to catastrophic events will be performed and the National Regulatory Commission notice 2011-2015 notes that the assessment of the implications of beyond design basis phenomena is continuing.

“This is basically a warning that we will learn things (from Japan) and bring those lessons to United States reactors,” Dacimo said.

Discussion

At the conclusion of the presentation the town board and Entergy officials carried on a conversation regarding spent fuel rods, Yucca Mountain, emergency evacuation plan, recycling nuclear material and the recent United States recommendation to Japan that anyone within a 50 mile radius of the explosions may be subject to harmful radiation.

“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it was hypothetical and a very conservative calculation,” Dacimo said. The NRC has reported that only those within a 10 mile radius of Indian Point would be at risk in the came of an emergency. If that number were increased to 50, 8 million residents of New York City would also be at risk and evacuation itself would inevitably become virtually impossible for most.

“It was a worst case type calculation…we don’t know if assumption was reasonable or really extreme.”

Jeff Tkacks, Cortlandt’s former Homeland Safety Coordinator/Emergency Management asked what percentage of IP 2 and 3’s spent fuel were in dry casks.

All of Unit 1’s whole spent fuel is in casks since it was taken offline decades ago. Dacimo said that 320 of Unit 2’s spent fuel rods are in dry cask and 1100 are left in the spent fuel pool and that transferring Unit 3’s spent fuel rods to dry casks has not yet begun. It will definitely start within the next five years, Dacimo said.

The question prompted him to address the politics of nuclear energy.

“We would have been better served to get dry casking sooner,” Dacimo said. He continued to say that anti-Indian Point activists who worked to shut down the plant in the name of safety and the environment were counter-productive because now more fuel is in pools, rather than in casks. “It is a political problem, not technical,” he said.

“The community should be up in arms because we haven’t taken fuel and shipped it out…Yucca Mountain should be opened.”

“This is not about safety, it is about trying to shut down an industry and choke it,” Dacimo said.

Councilman John Sloan asked who would be in charge in the case of an emergency. IP officials explained that Entergy is required to have a well-defined structure to respond to emergencies, and a plan that says who’s in command and who takes over as things progress/conditions worsen. Also, he said the NRC can view a lot of data, and if the government steps in to take over then that would be who is then in charge.

The County Executive has the authority to issue evacuation order based on recommendations that Entergy is obligated to make.

Councilman John Becker summarized several concerns towards the end of the meeting, the largest being the evacuation plan.

“The evacuation plan as it exists won’t work,” said Becker.

He also explained: “We’ve become dependent on the energy and the local economy is dependent on the plant…We have to be sensitive to people concerned about nuclear material so close to city so I think relicensing every 20 years is too long.”

Puglisi reflected Becker's thoughts on re-licensing and said the town has asked the NRC to require re-licensing every five years, rather than every twenty.

After more discussion over recycling nuclear energy, wedge wire versus cooling towers and the life of radioactive material, Puglisi ended the meeting with Entergy by reiterating her request to have an Emergency Operations Center in the Town of Cortlandt.

###

New York, NRC to Meet About Indian Point Nuclear Plant Safety

Bloomberg News

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

By Dan Hart and Edward Klump - Mar 21, 2011

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

Entergy Corp. (ETR)’s Indian Point nuclear-power plant needs tighter regulation because of its proximity to New York City, a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists said ahead of a meeting between state officials and U.S. regulators to discuss the facility.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

“Indian Point is special,” Edwin Lyman, a physicist with the group, said on a conference call with reporters yesterday. It is one of “a handful of plants in the U.S. with extremely high population densities within 50 miles and we’ve always said those should get additional regulatory attention.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission should re-examine its assumptions about safety, especially for plants in densely populated areas, said Lyman, whose 250,000-member organization advocates responsible treatment of the environment.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

New York Lieutenant Governor Robert McDuffy and other state officials will meet with the commission to discuss how an earthquake might affect Indian Point, Governor Andrew Cuomo said. The plant is about 24 miles (38 kilometers) north of New York City, whose more than 8 million residents make it the most populous in the U.S.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

Cuomo last week expressed surprise at reports that the plant, which opened in 1962, was the most vulnerable to an earthquake of all U.S. nuclear facilities. Regulators have been concerned after Japan’s struggles to avert a disaster at a power plant crippled last week by a tsunami and the 9.0 magnitude temblor off the northeastern coast.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

Gauging Danger

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

The March 22 gathering was set up by the White House at Cuomo’s request, the governor’s office said in an e-mailed statement. It will include Howard Glaser, director of New York state operations, the statement said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

The meeting is intended to determine Indian Point’s earthquake vulnerabilities, preparedness and risk assessment, according to the statement. Rich Bamberger, a spokesman for the governor, could not immediately say where the meeting would be.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

U.S. nuclear power plants that store thousands of metric tons of spent atomic fuel pose risks of a crisis like the one unfolding in Japan, where crews are battling to prevent a meltdown of stored fuel, nuclear safety experts said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

U.S. nuclear plants had an estimated 63,000 metric tons (138.9 million pounds) of spent fuel stored on site as of January 2010, according to a report from the NRC. About 2,000 metric tons a year is expected to be added to that total, the NRC said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

‘Should Be Closed’

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

The reactors supply 25 percent of the power used by the city and suburban Westchester County. They are designed to withstand at least a magnitude 6 earthquake, said Jerry Nappi, a plant spokesman. A magnitude 7 earthquake in the region is possible, based on the features of two identified fault lines in the area, according to scientists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

Cuomo said in a March 16 press conference in Albany that while he was New York’s attorney general, he’d concluded Indian Point shouldn’t have been issued a new license and “should be closed.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

An emergency plan for the evacuation of about 320,000 people within a 10-mile radius of the plant is evaluated every two years by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to Nappi. The plan was approved last year.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

“You cannot move that many people in the amount of time required because there aren’t that many roads,” said Paul Gallay, executive director of Riverkeeper Inc., an environmental watchdog group based in Ossining, New York, that says the evacuation plan isn’t adequate.

Liner Leak

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

Separately, the NRC has been aware of a leak in the liner of a refueling cavity at Indian Point since 1993 and yet allowed the plant to continue operating, according to a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

The liner was installed to prevent leaking of radioactive material during an earthquake and the chances of that equipment fulfilling its safety function is “nil,” the report said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

“We believe Indian Point is capable of withstanding the most significant historical earthquake for that area,” said Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the NRC.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-21/new-york-nrc-to-meet-about-indian-point-nuclear-plant-safety.html

To contact the reporters on this story: Dan Hart in Washington at dahart@bloomberg.net; Edward Klump in Houston at eklump@bloomberg.net

mailto:eklump@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Theo Mullen at tmullen11@bloomberg.net

###

mailto:tmullen11@bloomberg.net

New York Times

March 20, 2011

Fukushima, Indian Point and Fantasy

By PETER APPLEBOME

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/nyregion/21towns.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=indian point nuclear power plant&st=cse

There’s no magic number, of course. Is it perilous at 10 miles away, but not 11? Is there an evacuation zone that would be a one-size-fits-all plan for any nuclear disaster? You don’t need a physics degree to answer those questions.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/nyregion/21towns.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=indian point nuclear power plant&st=cse

But we do know that American officials have told citizens of the United States to stay at least 50 miles away from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Japan as the nuclear crisis continues.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/nyregion/21towns.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=indian point nuclear power plant&st=cse

In the case of a comparable disaster here, this is what a 50-mile circle around the Indian Point nuclear plant on the Hudson River in Westchester County would look like: past Kingston in Ulster County to the north; past Bayonne and Elizabeth, N.J., to the south; almost to New Haven in the east; and into Pennsylvania to the west. It includes almost all of New York City except for Staten Island; almost all of Nassau County and much of Suffolk; all of Bergen County, N.J.; all of Fairfield, Conn.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/nyregion/21towns.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=indian point nuclear power plant&st=cse

Try evacuating that on short — or long — notice.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/nyregion/21towns.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=indian point nuclear power plant&st=cse

“Many scholars have already argued that any evacuation plans shouldn’t be called plans, but rather ‘fantasy documents,’ ” Daniel P. Aldrich, a professor of political science at Purdue University and the author of “Site Fights: Divisive Facilities and Civil Society in Japan and the West,” said in an e-mail. They are often bureaucratic documents meant to meet policy requirements, not to work in the real world, he added.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/nyregion/21towns.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=indian point nuclear power plant&st=cse

FANTASY or not, the nuclear accident in Japan is putting renewed attention on exactly how to protect or evacuate the population around Indian Point, 35 miles from Midtown Manhattan in the most populous part of the country, with population of almost 20 million people in the metropolitan region. And in the end, the future of Indian Point, which is facing renewed calls that it be shut down, is not a referendum on nuclear power. It’s a question of whether this nuclear plant at this site makes sense.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/nyregion/21towns.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=indian point nuclear power plant&st=cse

Of course, there’s no universal standard for evacuations, and no simple template for people’s personal comfort zones. France gets 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear power, and the disaster in Japan does not seem to have created a huge backlash against nuclear power there. But it has renewed questions about Indian Point’s safety — whether from an earthquake, a terrorist attack, another natural disaster like a hurricane and resulting storm surges, or something as unanticipated as the hijacked plane that flew over it on Sept. 11, 2001.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/nyregion/21towns.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=indian point nuclear power plant&st=cse

Indian Point’s evacuation plans focus on a 10-mile ring populated by about 300,000 people. Twenty miles out, roughly the area of highest concern identified by Japanese authorities, includes almost a million people. A 50-mile evacuation plan does not exist and is hard to imagine.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/nyregion/21towns.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=indian point nuclear power plant&st=cse

The most in-depth analysis of the evacuation planning for Indian Point was a 256-page report commissioned by Gov. George E. Pataki and completed in 2003 by a firm headed by James Lee Witt, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/nyregion/21towns.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=indian point nuclear power plant&st=cse

It concluded that the plans were drafted to comply with regulations rather than to create an effective strategy to protect the population, and that they assumed people would comply with government directives rather than do what seemed to be in their own best interests.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/nyregion/21towns.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=indian point nuclear power plant&st=cse

Citing these and other concerns, the report said: “It is our conclusion that current radiological response system and capabilities are not adequate to overcome their combined weight and protect the people from an unacceptable dose of radiation in the event of a release from Indian Point.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/nyregion/21towns.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=indian point nuclear power plant&st=cse

Jim Steets, a spokesman for Indian Point, said evacuation and emergency preparedness planning was being constantly refined and that the nuclear industry expected to adapt and to learn lessons from the disaster in Japan. “You have a nuclear industry that prides itself on learning lessons,” he said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/nyregion/21towns.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=indian point nuclear power plant&st=cse

Both Entergy, which owns Indian Point, and Steven Chu, the federal secretary of energy, have announced reviews of the plant in response to the disaster in Japan.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/nyregion/21towns.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=indian point nuclear power plant&st=cse

But asked repeatedly whether the government’s 50-mile zone could possibly be observed in the event of a comparable event here, Mr. Steets declined to answer. “I don’t think you can automatically say you would have the same situation or you could extrapolate from one situation to the other,” he said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/nyregion/21towns.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=indian point nuclear power plant&st=cse

No operating American plant has ever been shut down because of the lack of an acceptable evacuation plan. But you don’t have to look far to find how critical the issue can be: The Shoreham nuclear plant on Long Island was completed and then shut down without producing any commercial electric power after representatives of Mario M. Cuomo, then the governor of New York, declined to certify its evacuation plan. Last week, another Governor Cuomo called Indian Point too big a risk to remain open.

E-mail: peappl@nytimes.com

mailto:peappl@nytimes.com

###

The Manhattan Meltdown Scenario

Antinuclear activist Helen Caldicott on how New York’s nightmare would unfold.
http://www.newsweek.com/2011/03/20/the-manhattan-meltdown-scenario.html 
by Helen Caldicott

March 20, 2011


The two operating nuclear reactors known as Indian Point are situated in Buchanan, N.Y.—just 35 miles from midtown Manhattan. More than 17 million people live within 50 miles of these plants.

How might a meltdown start? An earthquake, obviously, is among the scenarios. Others include various forms of terrorist attacks. Regardless of the trigger, a meltdown would follow several specific stages.

First, as cooling water dissipated from the reactor core, intensely hot radioactive pellets in the fuel rods would overheat and swell, and their zirconium cladding would oxidize and rupture. Then the pellets themselves would begin to melt. (Many details described here reflect a study of Indian Point by Edwin S. Lyman.)

If the molten fuel core were to hit the bottom of the reactor vessel, it would trigger massive steam explosions that could blow the reactor vessel apart. The eventual distribution of radioactive elements would depend on several factors, including the weather.

Both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency require an evacuation plan for a 10-mile radius of the reactor: an off-site alarm set to go off 30 minutes after an event began would allow time for the operators to determine the extent of the damage. That would leave 78 minutes from the alarm’s sounding to the beginning of the radioactive release.

Early fatalities from acute radiation sickness for those within the 10-mile evacuation zone would range from 2,440 to 11,500. Late cancer deaths, which would occur two to 60 years later, could range from 28,100 to a staggering 518,000 people in the 50-mile zone.

Fatalities could be reduced within the 10-mile zone if people were to shelter indoors during the acute phases of the radioactive fallout. (Evacuation tends to increase doses received, because people would be in non-airtight vehicles or on foot.) Also, if everyone were to take inert potassium iodide tablets immediately, peak doses to their thyroids of radioactive iodine could be cut by 30 percent.

Imagine the scene: more than 300,000 people are running and driving away from the stricken reactor along winding Westchester roads, trying to reach their children, their spouses, and their mates. Then they begin to taste a strange, metallic flavor in their mouths. The radio blasts out dire warnings, yet nobody knows what they are doing and nobody is in control.

The economic consequences of a meltdown would be stupendous. New York could be rendered virtually uninhabitable, with $1 trillion or more in costs from attempts at decontamination, the condemnation of radioactive property, and compensatory payments to people forced to relocate temporarily or permanently. Add to that the extraordinary economic consequences if the world’s financial capital were closed forever.

Caldicott, who was trained as a pediatrician, is cofounder of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Adapted from Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer copyright 2006 by Helen Caldicott. Reprinted by permission of the New Press.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1595580670/thedaibea-20/

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http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1595580670/thedaibea-20/

March 20, 2011

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1595580670/thedaibea-20/

Fukushima, Indian Point and Fantasy

By PETER APPLEBOME

There’s no magic number, of course. Is it perilous at 10 miles away, but not 11? Is there an evacuation zone that would be a one-size-fits-all plan for any nuclear disaster? You don’t need a physics degree to answer those questions.

But we do know that American officials have told citizens of the United States to stay at least 50 miles away from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Japan as the nuclear crisis continues.

In the case of a comparable disaster here, this is what a 50-mile circle around the Indian Point nuclear plant on the Hudson River in Westchester County would look like: past Kingston in Ulster County to the north; past Bayonne and Elizabeth, N.J., to the south; almost to New Haven in the east; and into Pennsylvania to the west. It includes almost all of New York City except for Staten Island; almost all of Nassau County and much of Suffolk; all of Bergen County, N.J.; all of Fairfield, Conn.

Try evacuating that on short — or long — notice.

“Many scholars have already argued that any evacuation plans shouldn’t be called plans, but rather ‘fantasy documents,’ ” Daniel P. Aldrich, a professor of political science at Purdue University and the author of “Site Fights: Divisive Facilities and Civil Society in Japan and the West,” said in an e-mail. They are often bureaucratic documents meant to meet policy requirements, not to work in the real world, he added.

FANTASY or not, the nuclear accident in Japan is putting renewed attention on exactly how to protect or evacuate the population around Indian Point, 35 miles from Midtown Manhattan in the most populous part of the country, with population of almost 20 million people in the metropolitan region. And in the end, the future of Indian Point, which is facing renewed calls that it be shut down, is not a referendum on nuclear power. It’s a question of whether this nuclear plant at this site makes sense.

Of course, there’s no universal standard for evacuations, and no simple template for people’s personal comfort zones. France gets 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear power, and the disaster in Japan does not seem to have created a huge backlash against nuclear power there. But it has renewed questions about Indian Point’s safety — whether from an earthquake, a terrorist attack, another natural disaster like a hurricane and resulting storm surges, or something as unanticipated as the hijacked plane that flew over it on Sept. 11, 2001.

Indian Point’s evacuation plans focus on a 10-mile ring populated by about 300,000 people. Twenty miles out, roughly the area of highest concern identified by Japanese authorities, includes almost a million people. A 50-mile evacuation plan does not exist and is hard to imagine.

The most in-depth analysis of the evacuation planning for Indian Point was a 256-page report commissioned by Gov. George E. Pataki and completed in 2003 by a firm headed by James Lee Witt, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

It concluded that the plans were drafted to comply with regulations rather than to create an effective strategy to protect the population, and that they assumed people would comply with government directives rather than do what seemed to be in their own best interests.

Citing these and other concerns, the report said: “It is our conclusion that current radiological response system and capabilities are not adequate to overcome their combined weight and protect the people from an unacceptable dose of radiation in the event of a release from Indian Point.”

Jim Steets, a spokesman for Indian Point, said evacuation and emergency preparedness planning was being constantly refined and that the nuclear industry expected to adapt and to learn lessons from the disaster in Japan. “You have a nuclear industry that prides itself on learning lessons,” he said.

Both Entergy, which owns Indian Point, and Steven Chu, the federal secretary of energy, have announced reviews of the plant in response to the disaster in Japan.

But asked repeatedly whether the government’s 50-mile zone could possibly be observed in the event of a comparable event here, Mr. Steets declined to answer. “I don’t think you can automatically say you would have the same situation or you could extrapolate from one situation to the other,” he said.

No operating American plant has ever been shut down because of the lack of an acceptable evacuation plan. But you don’t have to look far to find how critical the issue can be: The Shoreham nuclear plant on Long Island was completed and then shut down without producing any commercial electric power after representatives of Mario M. Cuomo, then the governor of New York, declined to certify its evacuation plan. Last week, another Governor Cuomo called Indian Point too big a risk to remain open.

### 

http://nydn.us/f0V1Gd

FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 2011

Video: Riverkeeper's Paul Gallay on Indian Point's vulnerability to earthquakes

http://nydn.us/f0V1Gd

Paul Gallay, Executive Director of Riverkeeper appeared as a guest on MSNBC's "Ed Show," discussing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's study, which ranks the Indian Point 3 reactor in Westchester County as the most vulnerable to the effects of an earthquake

http://www.lefthudson.com/2011/03/report-finds-indian-point-has-highest.html

Gallay told host Ed Schultz that he's not surprised by the revelation, and it's actually something New Yorkers have known for years:

http://www.lefthudson.com/2011/03/report-finds-indian-point-has-highest.html

Indian Point has been on the radar for nine years. We've understood that the information that Indian Point was built on is about 30 years old. It says you could have maybe a 3.0 magnitude earthquake. Guess what? Columbia [University] says you could have a 7.0. They even identified a second fault line that they didn't even know about when this plant was built. Can you picture what would happen if you had a disaster like in Japan within 30 miles from the middle of New York City?

http://www.lefthudson.com/2011/02/lamont-doherty-scientist-says-region-is.html

Watch the segment with Gallay here:

http://www.lefthudson.com/2011/02/lamont-doherty-scientist-says-region-is.html

http://www.lefthudson.com/2011/03/video-riverkeepers-paul-gallay-on.html

http://www.lefthudson.com/2011/03/video-riverkeepers-paul-gallay-on.html

###

http://www.lefthudson.com/2011/03/video-riverkeepers-paul-gallay-on.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/03/17/2011-03-17_gov_risky_indian_point_should_be_shut.html

It's too risky to keep Indian Point nuclear power plant open: Gov. Cuomo

BY Douglas Feiden and Brian Kates 
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS



Thursday, March 17th 2011, 4:00 AM

Gov. Cuomo on Wednesday called for shutting down the Indian Point nuclear power plant after a federal report branded it the most vulnerable to earthquakes in the nation.



"The suggestion is that of all the [104] power plants across the country, that the Indian Point power plant is most susceptible to an earthquake because Reactor No. 3 is on a fault [line]," Cuomo said as nuclear meltdown fears deepened in Japan.



"It should be closed. This plant in this proximity to the city was never a good risk."



Cuomo, who has long opposed the plant, spoke after new data from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission show the Hudson River plant was the most vulnerable to a quake.



It also came about two weeks after a judge let the Indian Point nuke plant - just 24 miles north of the Bronx - cut back on meltdown prevention.



In its 40-year history, Indian Point has suffered radiation leaks, useless warning sirens, transformer explosions and oil spills.



Twenty million people live within 50 miles of the Westchester County plant, and many local politicians and environmentalists oppose extending its license.



On March 4, Manhattan Federal Judge Loretta Preska upheld an NRC decision to let Indian Point operator Entergy use insulation that withstands fire for only 27 minutes.



The NRC usually requires that insulation on cables that control reactor core shutdown must withstand fire for at least a full hour.



Entergy insisted that other safety and fire-supression systems can handle a plant fire. They include the five-member internal fire brigades on each shift and the nearby volunteer firefighters in the tiny hamlet of Verplanck.



Preska's ruling came in response to a suit filed by former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester) and environmental groups.



Brodsky blasted the ruling.



"These are the cables that control the shutdown of the reactors," he said. "You can't bet the safety of New York on the ability of firefighters to get there in 25 minutes. The consequences are enormous."



Scientists say a magnitude 9.0 earthquake like the one that crippled Japan is unlikely to hit Indian Point, although a quake as big as 7.0 is not out of the question.



That was the conclusion of Columbia University researchers, who discovered in 2008 that the plant sits at the intersection of two active fault lines.



An MSNBC analysis of the NRC data put the odds of a quake disabling the core of Indian Point's No. 3 reactor at 1 in 10,000 - far worse than the 1 in 74,176 chance of a typical American reactor.



Paul Gallay, head of the environmental group Riverkeeper, said the conclusion the plant can withstand an earthquake is based on 40-year-old data.



Indian Point passed its most recent NRC preparedness drill last October, but records reveal a troubled history:



- Radioactive material - including tritium levels 10 times higher than what the feds say is safe in drinking water - leaked from a nuclear-waste storage pool in 2005.



- The NRC ordered malfunctioning emergency sirens replaced by January 2007, but they remained out of service until August 2008. The NRC levied $780,000 in fines.



- A steam generator tube ruptured in 2000, spewing contaminated steam into the air and flooding the Hudson with radioactive water. The reactor shut down for 11 months.



Detailed plans for evacuation exist, but few believe they're realistic. A 2003 traffic study concluded it would take nine hours to evacuate a 10-mile radius around Indian Point in good weather; snow would boost that to 12 hours.



With Kenneth Lovett

bkates@nydailynews.com