Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition
Indian Point Convergence at Stony Point
Major Activities for 2013
Jan thru Dec Planning Meetings
Event planning and strategy meetings are held the first Sunday of every month at the Stony Point Conference Center, Stony Point, NY. Meetings were open to all who wish to participate.
Meetings follow the goal directed “Open Space Technology” consensus format.
We layout our goals, assess progress and plan special “awareness”, teaching and media events as well as outreach to the community at large, the media and elected officials. All activities are conducted with the singular goal of closing the Indian Point Nuclear Energy Plant at Buchanan, New York.
Weekly Public Vigil
Vigils were held on route 202 across from a busy shopping center during rush hour in Cortlandt Manor. Vigils are help In the Quaker tradition of “bearing witness” to raise public consciousness that the Indian Point nuclear power plant still exists and continues to remain a major threat to public health and safety.
February 11 Core Group member Gary Shaw organized a meeting with the newly appointed Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Allison Macfarlane. This meeting was a result of previous contact at a conference in Washington D.C. IPSEC was the lead organization and other core group members attended. Riverkeeper and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater were also participants.
March 2: Remembering Fukushima: Press Conference: Peace Walk and Vigil
- We coordinated with the Grafton Pagoda Peace Walkers for a Peace Walk from Croton Hudson to Indian Point.
- We brought to New York two navigators who had served on the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, Jaime Plym and Maurice Enis. Both were exposed to radiation as part of Operation Tomadachi or Friendship. Operation Tomadachi was part of the United States effort to help the people of Japan after the meltdown of reactors at Fukushima. The Japanese government was not forthcoming about the extent of high level releases of radiation and the crew was exposed to radiation in the air and in their drinking water from the on board desalination plant that provides their water. Both of these young people and many more who were unwittingly exposed are experiencing unusual health problems that seem related to exposure to radiation. A legal case against the Japanese government is pending and over 100 sailors have joined in so far.
- We held a press conference with Riverkeeper and Clearwater featuring the two sailors at the Croton on Hudson Train Station at the beginning of the Peace Walk.
- The mayor of Croton Leo Weigman presented them with a certificate of appreciation.
- Many from the community did the Fukushima Remembrance and Indian Point Danger Awareness Walk from Croton-on-Hudson to the gates of Indian Point where Jun San led memorial ceremony with Peace Cranes.
- Jaime and Maurice went into NYC and were interviewed for the ABC nightly news.
- The evening program was a pot luck dinner to feed the Peace Walkers and introduce special guests, Jaime Plym and Maurice Enis.
March 3: Remembering Fukushima Program
- Opening remarks were by Andy Spano, former Westchester County Executive.
- Presentation and media event and a talk by Jaime and Maurice about their experience and radiation exposure on the USS Ronald Regan Aircraft Carrier during and after the relief mission.
- Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear spoke of the high level waste stored at Fukushima and Indian Point. Kevin was in Japan and lectured about the problems with storage shortly before the disaster at Fukushima.
- The Peace Walkers arrived at the end of the presentation and found it most informative.
- Roberta Muller did a presentation about the Health and Safety Resolution using a newly prepared power point.
- We broke for a potluck dinner and after dinner we saw a film about how people in Fukushima are coping two years after the disaster. The director, Professor Martin Lucas led a discussion after the viewing.
- A video was made of event and edited into a film by Gilad Thaler, a Vassar College student who is studying filmmaking, of their presentations. It was paid for by IPSEC with money raised by member contributions..
March 11: Press Conference at New York Academy of Medicine. Medical Implications of Fukushima organized by Helen Caldecott
Jaime and Maurice were interviewed by Helen Caldecott and another doctor. They presented their story and were interviewed by press from around the world.
May 14th: NRC Annual Assessment Meeting
IPSEC members attended and spoke out at the NRC’s annual Indian Point Safety Assessment meeting at the Tarrytown Double Tree Hotel. We coordinated with Riverkeeper and Clearwater to develop an “Indian Point Report Card” for the NRC highlighting deficiencies in performance and communications. This was very well received by the press.
June 2: Tabling and educational outreach at the annual Croton-on Hudson Summer Fest
June 7 Tabling and educational outreach at the annual Strawberry Fest at the Station Park, Beacon, NY
June 10 Leafleting and Vigil outside the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville NY
We stood at the movie theater before the screening of the pro-nuclear advocacy film, “Pandora’s Promise.”
A panel discussion between the director and Robert Kennedy, Jr. followed the screening. IPSEC board member Gary Shaw offered insightful and critical commentary during the viewer participation part of the evening.
June 15/16: Hudson River Clearwater Revival
Volunteers staffed IPSEC’s information table at the Environmental Activist area providing educational literature, collecting signatures for petitions, discussing IPSEC’s Health and Safety resolution and encouraging letter writing to elected officials. We also discussed strategies and shared experiences with volunteers from other reactor communities and environmental activist groups.
June 26: IPSEC Members, Susan Shapiro, Gary Shaw Roberto Mueller and Susan Leifer were interviewed about Indian Point on Pleasantville Community TV.
June 30th: “Celebrate Democracy”
This event at the Stony Point Conference Center was a major outreach to other environmental and grassroots activists groups. It was also a thank you event for those who had contributed money to IPSEC over the past year. IPSEC members provided a pot luck dinner for everyone. Stony Point provided hot dogs and hamburgers. Most importantly, it was an outreach to stand in solidarity with other groups which were intent on banning fracking so that we could begin to work together in solidarity in the coming year.
- Music was provided by David Bernz, a well-known local Hudson River area musician, and friends. The theme was working together and creating a healthy environment for future generations. Despite the rainy day, the music cheered us all.
- The program included a reading of the Constitution and was a powerful reminder that grassroots groups must continue to battle against corporate takeover of our democracy.
- There was an Indian Point update and a recap of IPSEC efforts to close Indian Point. Each of the ten groups in attendance was invited to address the audience about what they were doing and what their goals were.
- The rough cut of the video of Maurice and Jaime was shown and suggestions made for the final draft. This event built bridges to the anti-fracking movement and other environmental groups which we hope to follow up with later.
July to Sept: 1st Sunday of the month meetings at Stony Point Conference Center
Organizing and making follow-up conference calls to plan for our “Run for Your Life” Sept. 28th event was an important part of the summer. September 28 was the date of the license expiration of Unit 2 at Indian Point. We were also busy organizing and educating people about Indian Point in preparation for the upcoming October NRC Waste Confidence Hearing. A “one-size-fits-all” approach to high level radio active nuclear waste across all of the reactors in the United States is not appropriate, especially when it is based on a relatively trouble free small plant in rural Virginia which has a very low population with more cows than people. IPSEC member and lawyer Michele Lee specializes in preparing outstanding briefs and will do so yet again..
Aug 4: Two Row Wampum
Two Row Wampum represents the first treaty made between Europeans and Native Americans. It was made with the Dutch and is immortalized by a belt wampum which shows two dark lines on a white background, symbolizing two people on separate paths living in peace. The Haudenosaunee people, the people of the Onondaga Nation and their neighbors organized this expedition which started near Troy, New York to renew the vows of peace and environmental stewardship. IPSEC member Donna Stein kayaked down the Hudson River from Poughkeepsie as one of the allies and represented us in the celebration of the cleaning up of the Hudson River. Closing Indian Point was a key issue for the group. Kayakers were supported at their stops along the river route by members of their own community and by environmental activists including IPSEC members. Manna Jo Greene of Clearwater spoke at the landing at Newburgh. Pete Seeger spoke at the large gathering at Beacon with Leonard Lyons, both elders of their respective tribes. Marilyn Elie of IPSEC spoke at the Peekskill landing. Leo Weigman, the mayor of Croton welcomed them when they landed there. The kayakers, along with the Ghost Riders from the Sioux Nation, presented their petition at the United Nations as part of Indigenous Peoples Day. It was accepted by the Dutch ambassador.
Sept 28: Run for Your Life – the License Has Expired!
This was a multifaceted event that involved many different activities all culminating at Peekskill Riverfront Green for a report back, potluck and music.
- Four groups did vigils at local green markets and busy intersections in Tarrytown, Ossining, Croton-on-Hudson and Peekskill.
- One group rode bicycles along a prospective evacuation route.
- One group kayaked from the Water Sports Center to Indian Point and back to Peekskill Riverfront Green.
- We had both runners and walkers travel from Indian Point to Peekskill Riverfront Green.
- We also organized a demonstration with the NYC group in front of Grand Central Station with signs proclaiming that the trains and subways were now nuclear free because the Port Authority no longer contracts for any electricity from Indian Point as of this date.
- Well know Hudson Valley musicians Mel and Vinnie provided inspiring organizing music.
- There was a murder in a neighboring town and so press coverage was limited as most were in Cold Springs waiting for the suspect to be apprehended. One of our members, Roberto Muller, who was vigiling in Cold Spring was interviewed for the nightly news and did a fine job of reporting on the expiration of the license.
Oct 4:Driving without a License – Indian Point:
A panel discussion and fundraiser about Indian Point was hosted by actor Alec Baldwin at Rockland Community College. IPSEC member Gary Shaw also contributed in depth knowledge about Indian Point. This event was a fundraiser for the Radiation and Public Health Project, initiated by Executive Director Joseph Mangano and organized by IPSEC board members Susan Shapiro and Maureen Ritter. Jeanne Shaw organized the art sale that was part of the evening and we sold three of the Peter Max prints that were donated to us by Gary Null and the artist last year.
Oct 6: Strategy meeting at Stony Point Conference Center Re: October 30th Waste Confidence Hearing.
IPSEC core group members Gary Shaw and Marilyn Elie studied the Draft Waste Confidence document and presented their findings. The NRC was forced to prepare this document under court direction from a case initiated by Attorney General Schneiderman and Attorneys General from other states as well. It is clear that the NRC is trying to avoid an environmental impact study for each reactor and go with a generic version that can be turned into a simple and meaningless checklist. Getting the word out to all environmental groups to speak their concerns regarding the overcrowded storage of spent fuel in vulnerable spent fuel pools at Indian Point was a priority. Speakers and topics were chosen, transportation issues were discussed.
Oct 8 & 9: Fukushima Nuclear Accident – Ongoing Lessons for New York and Boston Panel Discussion
Events were held at the 92nd St ‘Y’, NYC Oct 8th and at the Massachusetts State House Oct 9. The New York session was moderated by Paul Gallay, executive directive of Riverkeeper. Panelists included the former NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko, former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Consumer advocate Ralph Nader, former Nuclear Energy industry VP Arnie Gunderson who was a member of the Three Mile Island meltdown investigation and has testified as an Expert Witness, Peter Bradford, Vermont University Law Professor and former NRC Commissioner. The event was presented by the Samuel Lawrence Foundation. IPSEC along with Clearwater and other environmental activist groups in New York and Boston supported and helped initiate plans for this event. Some of our members volunteered at the event, some were interviewed by press covering the event. It was a good opportunity to network with our NYC friends and plan future joint actions.
OCT 21: Marilyn Elie, one of IPEC’s founding members member was interviewed at WPKN radio, Bridgeport Ct.
Oct 30: Waste Confidence Hearing at the Tarrytown Marriot
IPSEC’s participation included tabling and a very effective press conference with our NYC friends and some outstanding speakers. We got a grant from Sierra Club to help pay for a bus from NYC. IPSEC members subsequently wrote 15 thoughtful letters outlining the issues and our concerns that became part of the written record of the hearing and were subsequently shared with groups in other localities where hearings were scheduled.
Nov 1: Talk on Indian point as an outreach to Sustainable Warwick, Warwick New York.
This group just passed a town resolution banning trucks carrying fracking waste from their town. They anticipate the same format for a town forum on Indian Point. The talk was given by IPSEC member Marilyn Elie
Nov 3: Assessment and strategy planning meeting at Stony Point Conference Center
We attended the Harvest Homecoming at Stony Point and were all pleased to be at such a moving celebration of life after Hurricane Sandy. Stony Point played a major role in providing housing and in the lives of many who were flooded out and lost everything. We also took time to debrief from two major events, the Waste Confidence Hearing and the New York panel discussion.
Dec 8: Assessment and strategy planning meeting at Stony Point Conference Center
Gary led a discussion to better help us all to understanding the NRC regulations and how deceptive they are in many ways. A chart developed by Marilyn and formatted by Gary listing three paths to the closing of Indian Point was introduced and discussed. We decided to try to focus our energies more in 2014 and be more proactive and less reactive. January will be devoted to reassessing our goals and planning for the year and how best to influence key decision makers. Keiko Sakai agreed to be in charge of reaching out to new members and maintaining a new member data base!
Additional Important Activity in 2013
Presenting and helping to pass the Health & Safety Resolution by
Putnam County Legislature, Town of Stony Point, Village of Croton-on-Hudson, Walkabout Clearwater Chorus, Beacon Sloop Club, River Pool in Beacon
It is our monthly meetings at Stony Point, not all of which are reflected here, that keeps us moving forward and reinforces our determination to close Indian Point. While some names appear more often than others, it is the joint effort that sustains us all.