Why is Indian Point still in business?

We’ve asked that very question several times on this page, and we ask it again. Why is Indian Point, a nuclear danger to millions of residents in one of the most crowded regions of the country, still in business?

There are no answers, only rhetoric and assertions.

Here is the latest evidence in favor of closing Indian Point: Small quantities of radioactive water are leaking from a pool that stores spent fuel rods. Nobody can quite figure out the source of the leak. That in itself is a scary thought.

Word of the leak comes after the plant’s sirens, which are supposed to signal an emergency, failed several tests. With good reason, federal officials are investigating security at this dangerous and unnecessary power plant.

Indian Point’s owners, the Entergy Corp., say they’re doing everything they can to find the source of the radioactive leak. Residents have been told that there is nothing to fear; that the leak amounts to only about a quart or two a day.

But, of course, the problems at Indian Point go beyond this leak—which is hardly a minor issue anyway. Indian Point is a national-security threat to the city of New York and its surrounding communities. A terrorist strike there would be a global catastrophe,  so horrible that, as Nikita Khruschev said in another era of nuclear-powered fears, the living would envy the dead.

It is infuriating to realize that Governor George Pataki could shut down Indian Point single-handedly. But once again, the lame-duck Governor is demonstrating his stupidity on an issue that means so much to so many New Yorkers. He will be remembered as a passive man who did nothing—after the horror of 9/11—to prevent this disaster in the making.

Why is Indian Point still in business? Because the Governor of New York is afraid to act. That’s why.

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