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How to Shut Down a Nuclear Power Plant – RvK Presents at Environmental Conference


The Raging Grannies of Oregon performing a saterical protest song
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There is no better example of an aging, outdated, unsafe, environmentally destructive nuclear power plant than Indian Point. And no shortage of effort has been expended by Riverkeeper’s tireless advocates in order to see that the plant is shutdown for good. That’s why Riverkeeper was asked to share its expertise on how to shut down nuclear power plants at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Eugene, Oregon, this past weekend.

Billed as the “world’s most important environmental law conference,” the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, or PIELC, is a premier annual gathering of environmentalists worldwide. The oldest and largest of its kind, the PIELC unites thousands of activists, attorneys, scientists, concerned citizens, and students from over 50 countries to share their experience and expertise on a broad spectrum of environmental issues.

At the conference, I presented about the numerous legal strategies Riverkeeper has employed over the years to get Indian Point shut down. Indeed, the magnitude of this effort has been staggering. I explained the different tactics Riverkeeper has pursued, including, among other things,

  • Riverkeeper’s various emergency enforcement petitions filed with the NRC,
  • Riverkeeper’s intervention in the ongoing Indian Point license renewal proceeding where we have raised several critical safety and environmental issues, and
  • Riverkeeper’s opposition to Entergy’s pending appeal of a landmark denial of a Water Quality Certification that is necessary to continue operating the plant.

The Raging Grannies of Oregon perform a satirical protest song

I also highlighted the usefulness and importance of debunking pervasive propaganda about the alleged “need” for nuclear power: at Indian Point replacement analyses clearly show that a clean, sustainable energy future without the harmful and dangerous plant is possible for the region.

Riverkeeper’s collective and long-standing efforts related to Indian Point should and likely will lead to the closure of the plant, and serve as a template for how to fight a monolithic corporation and regulatory structure. It was an honor to contribute to the conference’s goal of inspiring attendees to commit to vigorous legal action and advocacy to bring unfair environmental harms to justice.

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