Dear Secretary Burgess:
My name is Gary Shaw and I live within six miles of Indian Point. I have been observing the operations of Indian Point since the steam pipe rupture in February, 2000, and observing Entergy’s management since they bought Indian Point in 2001. We have seen how poorly the NRC protects the public health and safety, issuing exemptions repeatedly, including and exemption for Hemyc Fire Protection Wrap that covers critical emergency shut down cables. Hemyc was supposed to protect those cables for at least one hour but was found to last only 24 minutes when actually tested. Instead of ordering replacement of that faulty fire safety wrap, the NRC granted an exemption so no improvement has been implemented. I have also seen Entergy reduce its workforce and I have been aware of multiple senior security officers at Indian Point (Foster Zey and Skip Travis) who became whistle blowers about inadequacies of the security force and about failures by the security force in practice drills. And all of that has been done at Indian Point, which is actually profitable for Entergy, and now you are talking about subsidizing Entergy’s FitzPatrick plant that is losing money, so I assume that Entergy’s performance there will be even worse than their record at Indian Point. I presume that Excelon’s performance is no better at the Ginna Plant that is also losing money. I do not want my tax dollars going to subsidize the continued operation of FitzPatrick when Entergy has announced that it will be closed or at Ginna that is also going to close. I want my tax dollars to go to upgrades of the transmission infrastructure and faster development of real safe and emission free energy sources that will create new and well paying jobs and create more tax revenue for NYS.
I, as a citizen of NY State, demand that the Public Service Commission hold a timely and comprehensive open hearing regarding the recent proposal to grant vast public subsidies to nuclear energy companies in the public’s name. The owners of the upstate New York plants are established multi-billion dollar corporations that are already heavily subsidized, through grants of PILOTs (Payments In Lieu Of Taxes) and laws such as Price-Anderson that indemnifies the industry for loss when the unexpected happens and places the financial onus on the taxpayers. Furthermore, decommissioning funds and funding for radioactive waste storage are far short of what is necessary, leaving an increasing burden on the taxpayer to foot the bill for planetary desecration. For the Public Service Commission to refer to nuclear energy as “emissions free” ignores that nuclear plants emit radioactive fluids and gases as a normal and necessary part of their functioning, and to designate nuclear energy as a carbon-free process turns a blind eye to the totality of the fuel cycle that includes mining, milling, enrichment, transportation and extensive construction. And there is no end to that fuel cycle because some byproducts will remain mutagenic for millennia. Claiming that generation of electricity through nuclear chain reactions produces no carbons emissions is deceptive, ignores basic facts and the basic dangers of continuing to rely on nuclear power. When there is no place to even put nuclear waste (which is certainly our case) basic life becomes the repository for the garbage generated by nuclear activity. As the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) itself informs us, radioactive carbon-14 is being created daily through nuclear activity and such activity has created new elements now part of the periodic table – all of this, clearly a threat to life on the planet for generations to come.
To advocate Nuclear power as benign and helpful as such, without sincere and thorough examination of the issue is a grave mistake to the future of life on the planet. Please explain how this energy source can be defined as “benign” when all three counties around Indian Point have elevated thyroid cancer rates, based on analyses of US CDC data by the Radiation and Public Health Project. The almost religious reliance on Nuclear power is a habit we can afford to lose and cannot afford to continue in any measure.
Speaking of measuring, given that there is no official monitoring in NY as in other states that are picking up runaway radioactive readings in major city centers across the country, we are even more deeply concerned about the lack of transparency in your policy making process.
The PSC allowing only a limited public comment period without a public hearing prior to making sweeping policy changes on an issue that regards taxpayer money, our precious resources and health, seems an affront to the citizenry and an overreach on the part of the PSC. Any attempt to avoid public scrutiny on such an important issue as this only adds fuel to the fire. We are a citizenry that has been knowingly contaminated for decades by our government through atomic bomb testing and nuclear waste from NPPs in our waterways and soil. We are now additionally threatened by the massive uncontrolled releases from the multiple meltdowns in Fukushima. That should have been enough to stop, take a breath and reconsider but we have learned nothing. Even former NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko has indicated that he now favors shutting down our existing nuclear plants. This sinister avowal to nuclear power has affected our politics, our relationship to the land, to each other, and has already forever challenged public health and life on the planet as we know it.
In short, we demand and extension of the period for public comments and open public hearings on energy subsidies to nuclear energy companies and no preferential treatment to nuclear interests and their affiliates in determining our future energy policy. If indeed this commission works for ‘public service’ then, truly serve us well and know that we wish to end reliance on nuclear power, now!
With all due respect,
Member of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition
9 Van Cortlandt Place
Croton on Hudson, NY 10520