Thank you Susan for sharing these thoughtful and detailed comments. Susan spoke at the 1 pm session and is also submitting her comment in writing.
Please use some of the information in her very thorough comment to write your own submission. It does not have to be long. Pick a single point you care about and send it in. Save this comment so that you will have accurate information to share with your legislator or to share with others.
MarilynA FEW SIMPLE WAYS TO COMMENT:
Site provides sample comments and background. Deadline for comment submission is Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.
The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) should not and must not grant the subject petition and must not disclaim jurisdiction over, or and must not authorize, a proposed transfer of Indian Point and its $2.1 billion decommissioning to Holtec, as it will cause irreparable harm to health and safety of New York State’s people, environment and finances.
The PSC has jurisdiction to protect the people and financial interest of NYS state, and must do so by denying this Petition. The PSC must not abdicate its authority and enforcement power over a new toxic waste dump on the shores of the Hudson River.
In no event should a license transfer be allowed until the legal challenge recently brought by the NYS Attorney General is fully resolved. The PSC have jurisdiction and responsibility to work with other state agencies, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Department of Health (DOH), Attorney General, Department of State (DOS) and the Coastal Commission to ensure the safety of New Yorkers, the environment, the groundwater, and our Hudson River and that there is compliance with NYS laws and land use regulations, including but not limited to a full State Environmental Quality Review.
The Decommissioning Trust Fund was funded by us, New York State rate and taxpayers, and was established solely to fund the clean up of Indian Point –and cannot be used to fund the storage of toxic nuclear waste, euphemistically called “spent fuel”, on the banks of the Hudson River, indefinitely.
The established of the Decommissioning Trust Fund was a guarantee and promise to restore NYS lands, and was required as part of the initial siting of Indian Point on the banks of the Hudson River.
The federal Department of Energy (DOE) at the inception of siting Indian Point on the banks of the Hudson River made an agreement with NYS that it would is responsible for removal and storage of the nuclear waste and that the Decommissioning Trust Fund would be only used to clean up the site.
Given the reality that no viable long term storage facility exists, the 1800 tons of nuclear waste produced by Indian Point, must now be stored onsite indefinitely. Since that is the reality the PSC and NYS must ensure that it is stored as safely possible, using the best technologies available.
On-site nuclear waste was never contemplated or agreed to by the State, and is a new use of state lands. Our Decommissioning Trust Funds were not built to be depleted for the new un-contemplated onsite waste storage. The DOE has been collecting from tax and rate payers into a Nuclear Waste Fund, for years and that Fund is the one that should be footing the waste storage bill.
DOE Office of Inspector General Report shows that there was $54.3 billion in its Nuclear Waste Fund as of November 2020. (https://www.energy.gov/ig/downloads/financial-statement-doe-oig-20-10). This is the Trust Fund which must be used to pay for the long term storage of nuclear waste at Indian Point, not our hard earned Decommissioning Trust Fund.
New York tax and ratepayers should not be required to pay two or three times for storage of the same nuclear waste.
First, we paid into the DOE Nuclear Waste Fund which is dedicated to be used for nuclear waste storage. After the NRC finally acknowledged there was “No Waste Confidence” plan, since Yucca Mountain could never be opened due geological and scientific realities, not political pressures, reactor owners sued the DOE. As a result, Entergy, and other reactor owners, have received seven-figure payouts from the federal government. annually.
Secondly, a portion of our rates have been used to build the NYS $2.1 billion Decommissioning Trust Fund to clean up the site.
If the PSC allows the unconditioned transfer our Decommissioning Trust Fund into the hands of Holtec, then the PSC is putting at risk NYS treasure with with Holtec providing financial guarantees, bond or line of credit to ensure clean up is completed. Holtec can just walk away with our money and leave NYS taxpayers, holding the bag. Then we, the rate and taxpayers of NYS will be forced to pay a third time. The PSC must not allow this double or triple dipping into the pockets of all New York State residences.
Just because the NRC approved the transfer does not mean the PSC must follow suit, Rather, the PSC has an obligation to do what the NRC is failing to do, protect the interests of NY. The NRC’s refusal to hold public hearing, ensure proper oversight, and instead grant exemption after exemption to help Hotlec cut corners on safety and financial regulations, and take half of our $2.1 billion Decommissioning Fund.
NYS has are already been a victim to the NRC’s failure to enforce nuclear waste safety standards at policies at the West Valley fiasco. The PSC is on notice of this ongoing disaster, and has an obligation not to allow the same kind of thing to happen at Indian Point. The PSC must require that the best technology available be used to store the 1800 tons of radioactive waste in the middle of the most densely populated area of the country.
Holtec is not planning on using the best technologies available, but rather the least expensive “down and dirty” option. At San Onofre in California, the Holtec system there creates unavoidable gouges or scrapes on every million dollar canister — shorting the lifespan of these thin-wall canisters. Even one crack can grow through the wall in as little as 16 years according to the NRC, yet Holtec has no plan in place to prevent or stop leaks or explosions in these canisters — nor has Holtec allocated funds to replace the canisters, when necessary.
Holtec has a track record of corruption, malfeasance, bribery, substandard nuclear waste cask systems, and has been banned from doing business with the World Bank and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The casks being proposed, and which have already been approved by the NRC, to be used at Indian Point are not designed to store highly corrosive high-burn up fuel, yet a large portion of the 1800 tons of nuclear waste at Indian Point is made up of high-burn up fuel.
Holtec’s is making a promise it cannot fulfill to local officials and workers . There if no way that Indian Point can Decommissioning and cleaned up quickly. Holtec’s promise of quickly restoring the site to commercial viability is nothing more than a propaganda fantasy. High burn up fuel cannot be safely e moved out the 40 foot deep spent fuel pools of circulating cool water for a minimum of 10 years, due to high levels of waste heat.
Addtionally, it is well known that radioactive leaks under Indian Point have been uncontrolled for years; Indian Point 1 leaked so badly French drained had to be install and the spent fuel pool at Indian Point 2 is cracked and has been leaking radioactive effluent into the groundwater, unchecked, for years. The entire site is highly contaminated and there is no easy way to clean up leaks that have descended through fractured bedrock. Below is a cross section of the depth of the radioactive contamination.
Indeed, ongoing monitoring by the NY State Department of Health ( http://on.ny.gov/1WhlQu7 ) has found detectable deposits of a broad variety of radioactive isotopes above and below the Indian Point discharge site into the fast-moving Hudson River tidal estuary that the Native Americans referred to as “the river that runs both ways.”
The PSC must require that Decommissioning Trust Fund is used to clean up the site and prevent additional leaks of radiation into the Hudson River. The PSC must not allow the Decommissioning Trust fund to be used storage of the thousands of tons of toxic nuclear waste on the banks of the historic Hudson River, are properly secured, protected and maintained with best technologies available. Currently it seems that the best technology are the cask systems being used in Japan and Germany, which are made of thick cast iron, not ½” thick stainless steel as being proposed by Holtec.
The harsh reality, that everyone must come to accept, is that there is no quick solution to nuclear waste sroage. In fact there is no safe, and equitable solution for nuclear waste storage on the planet, therefore nuclear reactors communities, like ours must enforce the safest way to store the waste its reactors create on site – rather than contaminate additional lands. Holtec and the NRC’s current plan is to unrealistically ship nuclear toxic waste over barge, rail and road, to New Mexico. There is no safe way to transport nuclear waste. This endangers the entire nation, and especially the SouthWest, its Native American and Latin-X environmental justice communities. The PSC must understand that the Holtec cask being used at Indian Point waste cannot be used for transportation. This is proof that Holtec’s promise to have the site cleaned up in a short time is wholly without merit. It is apparent that Holtec’s actual plan is not to transport the casks every.
Yucca Mt. did not fail as a result of political pressure, but rather because of the scientific geological constrains of place so much super hot nuclear waste underground. The waste heat could met the surrounding rock and contaminate the groundwater for many western states. The caves at Calsbad have failed; Hanford storage facility is the most contaminated site in the States, Chernobyl needs to be re-entombed in concrete every 20 years, due to enormous heat and the accelerated corrosive impacts of un-controllable radioactive fission; and Fukashima 10 year late, is still not under control. And since the Russians have been dumping nuclear waste under the Arctic sea, the melting of the ice caps and climate change have accelerated
Though none of us like it – the truth is that the waste produced by Indian Point over the past 40 years, will have to be stored at Indian Point indefinitely.
New York State must now create and establish a funding mechanism to ensure that in 16 or 50 or 100 years the nuclear waste stored on the banks of the Hudson River does not contaminate the River.
Hotlec as have already expressed lack of consideration for the safety of the Hudson River. Hotlec has proposed to use barges to float nuclear waste down the river, endangering all the people living in the NY metropolitan region, and the Hudson River itself.
NYS and PSC have an obligation to protect the drinking water supply. Since the Hudson River is being used or may be used for the drinking water for residents of Rockland, Westchester, New York City and the City of Peekskill, the PSC must do everything in its power to protect the Hudson River.
There is already evidence of radioactive contamination in the Hudson River waters. The Haverstraw Desalination Pilot proposal found significant levels of tritium, and strontium in the water, since the currents in the Hudson and the groundwater flows under the Hudson River bring Indian Point nuclear waste to the shores of Rockland County. Despite this the PSC has left the door open to revisit Suez’s Hudson Water desalination plans, if and when Rockland grows beyond its current water supply.
Therefore, now the PSC cannot abdicate it jurisdiction over the nuclear waste at Indian Point or approve the transfer of Indian Point and its Decommissioning Trust to Hotlec, given their plan to use our Trust Fund for waste storage. Instead, the PSC should require establishment of a Community Oversight Board, made up of community stakeholder, to ensure continuing and comprehensive enforcement of protective regulations and that the best technologies available are used to store nuclear waste, and consider other safer and more experienced companies, such as Orano/Northstar or Energy Solutions to decommission Indian Point.
The PSC must coordinate review of any waste storage plans with other involved State agencies, specifically the DEC, DOH, and DOS to protect New Yorkers and the environment. NYS and the PSC must protect our groundwater, drinking water supplies, and the waters of the Hudson River from being contaminated with tons of radioactive waste from improper management of the 1800 tons of nuclear waste which must be stored at Indian Point, on the bank of the Hudson River, indefinitely.
Thank you for your consideration.
Susan H. Shapiro, Esq.
LEAF of Hudson Valley