BUCHANAN – The closure of the Indian Point plant is scheduled to begin next year, and members of the community say they are already thinking of the safest ways that officials should proceed.
They tell News 12 that they’d like to see the state implement a citizens oversight board to act as a watchdog for those who live in close proximity.
Their idea is to have a board of 15 impartial members who don’t have any financial or economic agendas. Members would be appointed by the governor, the Westchester County executive, local government, environmental organizations and labor unions that represent the Indian Point workers.
Margo Schepart, of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition, and Courtney Williams, co-founder of Safe Energy Rights Group, say whoever buys Indian Point from Entergy at the end of the year may try to cut corners and save money deciding how to store the nuclear material and put public safety on the back burner.
The citizens oversight board would be full of people, they say, who are experienced and from the area – and in turn, have a vested interest.
“The radioactive material at Indian Point is going to be radioactive for something like 250,000 years,” says Williams.
That’s how long she says the nuclear material can pose a risk to the public.
Their groups worked with researchers at Princeton University who determined that if Indian Point were to go on fire or if the neighboring gas line were ever to rupture, people all the way in Montreal, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. could be affected.
Their goal is to lessen any possible exposure in the years to come. They think having current knowledgeable employees of Indian Point to handle the dismantling and installing high-quality casks to store the material could do that.