For years, Entergy has told us time after time after time that the Indian Point nuclear-power plants are “safe, secure and vital.” If they are what they say they are, why would Entergy object to requests and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission refuse requests from elected officials in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives to have an independent safety assessment of Indian Point?

Over the past few years, headlines have shouted about the positive safety and operational ratings bestowed on Indian Point by the NRC. If these regulators are secure in the knowledge that they are providing adequate oversight, why wouldn’t they want an independent source to verify that the public can have confidence in the operators and the overseers?

Perhaps it is because things are really not that good. There have been repeated unexpected outages at Indian Point, sirens that have failed numerous times, and radioactive water leaks from either one or multiple spent fuel pools. Can we be sure that all the problems and deficiencies in the plant have been identified and are being addressed? It is more than eight months since radioactive contamination was found in groundwater, and there is still no definitive evidence that all the sources have been found and there is still no resolution to the problem.

If “safe, secure and vital” is something more than empty words, Entergy and the NRC should be glad to have other knowledgeable sources verify their fine reviews. Wouldn’t you be glad, too?