Indian Point Nuclear Plant Should Be Shuttered: Environmentalists

Monday, October 17, 2011

A new report commissioned by the National Resources Defense Council and Riverkeeper stated that there are alternative energy resources available to replace Indian Point should the Nuclear Regulatory Commission not renew the facility’s license.

It also said that neither the city’s nor the state’s "electricity reliability would be jeopardized."

Ashok Gupta, director of Energy Policy for the NRDC, said a number of alternative energy initiatives are underway in the New York. The question, Gupta said, is how to bring them together. "How do we assemble that diverse portfolio that will include a combination of wind and natural gas and solar and efficiency? And how doe we bring some of these resources that are hard to get to the New York City downstate market?"

But Arthur "Jerry" Kremer, chairman of the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance took issue with the report’s findings, saying that Indian Point is vital to New York’s economy. "To facilitate economic growth, meet the challenges of more businesses and people in our region, and to address air quality issues, Indian Point’s reliable, competitively priced, and for all intents and purposes non-emitting power will be even more important to the region in the future that it is today," Kremer said.

Energy Nuclear, Indian Point’s owner, is seeking a 20 year extension for the reactor’s licenses which is up in 2015. It’s a move that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo opposes.

In a related report released Monday, the NRDC said that an accident at the Indian Point nuclear power plant could cause a catastrophe worse than the disaster in Fukushima, Japan.

The analysis of the costs and consequences of an accident at the plant in Buchanan, New York, such as an earthquake causing a rupture of its spent fuel pools could create a plume with 17 times more radiation than was released at Chernobyl.

“It would require the evacuation of all 8.5 million people in New York City and it would make much of New York permanently uninhabitable,” said Robert Kennedy, Jr., an attorney for NRDC and Riverkeeper.

But Indian Point spokesman Jerry Nappi said, it wasn’t the earthquake that caused the Fukushima disaster, but the tsunami that followed. "We’re not susceptible to a 9.0 earthquake in this region, and we’re not susceptible to a tsunami, being about 40 miles north of New York Harbor on the Hudson River," Nappi said.


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Comments [5]

Kate from PA from USA

As usual, the bickering continues and everyone misses the point. The NRDC says "alternative energy initiatives are underway". It looks like they better stop talking about it and get to work. Fancy talk like "diverse portfolio" for alternative energy resources is such a pitifully typical response to such a critically important situation. When it comes to setting up an infrastructure to perform specific functions. There are plenty of agencies I can think of (if you know what I mean) that can get the job done fast and have operations up and running in no time. Can one operation fill the need for an entire city or town? No of course not but talking about it instead of building it is only delaying these projects further. Come on, please, for Nappi at Indian Point to say that they are not susceptible to an earthquake in that region is embarassingly ignorant. And for Brian from CT, regarding your comment about the people not dying from radiation; that may be true for the Daiichi plant, I will do my research but as for Chernobyl, people are still getting sick and dying from that and hundreds of thousands have ALREADY died from that.

Oct. 18 2011 12:44 PM
LS from nyc

Since the technology does not currently exist to deal with a worst-case scenario, and this plant is old, it seems reasonable that it should be phased out. We have seen the limits of man's ability to deal with disasters, natural or otherwise. Is it worth the risk? No, it is not.

Oct. 18 2011 12:04 PM
Kayayer from Nyc

Kenney? Does anyone proofread anymore?

Oct. 18 2011 10:13 AM
Brian from CT, USA

Christine, please provide a documented source for your statement that "the earthquake caused the damage and radiation levels were already rising at the boundary of the Daiichi plant before the tsunami ever reared its ugly head." Not hearsay. A reliable, documented source.

It's also worth noting that not one person has died from acute radiation exposure during/after the accident. Three have died from industrial-type accidents or pre-existing heart conditions. Also, there may be an increased cancer risk for many of the emergency workers. By comparison, 23 Americans have died recently from listeria-tainted cantaloupes. Over 50 Europeans died and about 4,500 were sickened this past summer by E.coli-tainted sprouts. Maybe we should all stop eating fruits and vegetables.

Oct. 18 2011 07:01 AM
Christine Strickland from Virginia USA

I think this guy needs to do a bit more research because it is a well known fact, among those who care to discover it, that the earthquake caused the damage and radiation levels were already rising at the boundary of the Daiichi plant before the tsunami ever reared its ugly head.

Oct. 17 2011 10:36 PM

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