My name is Gary Shaw and my wife is Jeanne D. Shaw. We are among the leaders of IPSEC, the Indian Point Safe Energy. We live about five miles from Indian Point and have fought Indian Point since February 2000 when a pipe rupture released radioactive steam into the atmosphere and radioactive water was released directly into the Hudson River. Since then we have witnessed multiple close calls and contaminations that are unacceptable.
Indian Point has had three transformer fires. One in 2015 resulted in flooding a room housing the electrical distribution panels. Had the flooding not been discovered in time, the panels could have been disabled, plunging Unit 3 into a station blackout condition like the one that caused disaster at Fukushima. The last one in 2017 left thousands of gallons of oil and firefighting foam in the Hudson.
In 2017, Roger Witherspoon reported that leaking from the plant’s cooling system went into groundwater and leaked into the Hudson, and the leaking included Tritium, Strontium-90, Cesium-137, Cobalt-60, and Nickel-63 according to the New York Department of State as part of its Coastal Zone Management Assessment.
Indian Point has a real earthquake risk. Indian Point was knowingly built near the Ramapo fault and the reactor buildings and spent fuel pools were designed to withstand a 5.3 magnitude earthquake. The buildings that house the spent fuel pools are much less robust than the pools. The buildings have the same types of roofs that are used for Walmart. In 2008, The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University discovered a second seismic fault. That Stamford to Peekskill Fault intersects the Ramapo Fault one mile from Indian Point 3 and Lamont-Doherty estimates potential for a 7.0 earthquake from that intersection. Spent fuel buildings are not designed to withstand that level of vibrations.
What makes this even more worrisome is that the spent fuel buildings are extremely overcrowded. Based on a letter I received from the NRC, both IP2 and IP3 were designed to have a maximum of 264 spent fuel assemblies per unit. As of 2014, Indian Point 2 had 1374 assemblies and Indian Point 3 had 1345 assemblies.
Now we have a relatively new high pressure, 42-inch fracked gas pipeline that creates another fire threat. In 2016, one of the Spectra pipelines in Pennsylvania blew up and created a large fire.
With the announcement that Indian Point is closing, we have seen that the NRC is less aggressive because they are worried about losing their jobs, and the recent annual report suggests that maintenance is being less well done. All these situations suggest that we need a Citizens Oversight Board that can monitor the safety and work being done during decommissioning. Many grassroots organizations have worked together to draft comprehensive legislation. We need our Governor to promote and pass this legislation.