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Speak Out on Fire Risk at Indian Point!

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Thanks to a federal court victory earlier this year by former NY Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, we have our first chance to tell the Nuclear Regulatory Commission what we think about exempting Entergy from complying with critical fire safety regulations that could prevent the kind of disaster at Indian Point that nearly led to catastrophe at the Browns Ferry plant in Alabama nearly 40 years ago. That’s how long the risk of catastrophic fire at nuclear power plants has been known, and yet the NRC continues to grant Indian Point exemptions from rules that could prevent disaster in the midst of 20 million U.S. residents living within 50 miles of the plant.

This is your chance to tell the NRC that public safety, not pleasing the nuclear industry, must come first at Indian Point!

Since 2007, Entergy has been using a fireproofing insulation called HEMYC to protect critical electrical cables that power the emergency shutdown system at Indian Point. HEMYC is supposed to protect the cables for one hour during a fire, but in lab tests, HEMYC only lasted 24 minutes!

Rather than upgrading the insulation to comply with the federal requirements, Entergy asked the NRC for an exemption from the standards, and the NRC granted it in 2007. When asked at a public meeting how many exemptions it had given to Indian Point over the years, a NRC official literally said “I don’t know, we don’t keep a list.”

Instead of enforcing its own safety regulations, the NRC regularly grants exemptions from them, in order to avoid “burdening” the nuclear industry with excessive regulation!

If you believe that safety should come first, and the NRC should serve the public, not Entergy, then now is the time to speak out against the NRC’s blatant favoritism!

Here are some of Riverkeeper’s key concerns and comments – feel free to use these or make your own statement about this critical safety issue.

  • The NRC should deny the exemption and require Entergy to comply with the regulations, which were written to protect the plant and the public from the very real risk of a fire that could lead to a meltdown at Indian Point.
  • The NRC failed to do an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) of the risks and impacts of granting the exemption, including looking at alternatives, such as replacing the insulation. At a minimum the NRC must conduct a full EIS, look at all alternatives and allow time for public comment.
  • The NRC should hold a public hearing in the vicinity of Indian Point to fully explain its exemption process, and take public input on Entergy’s failure to comply with fire safety regulations that were established over 20 years ago.
  • Send Your Public Comments
    Riverkeeper encourages you to submit comments on the NRC’s Draft Environmental Assessment of the Fire exemption by Monday, June 3, 2013 using one of these three methods: Be sure to include in your comments the Docket ID number: NRC-2013-0063.

    There are three ways to submit written comments:
    1. Follow this link to submit your comments on the U.S. Regulations website, or go to regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0063

    2. Send mail to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001
    3. Fax comments to: RADB at 301-492-3446. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-3668; or email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. Make sure and include the Docket Number, NRC-2013-0063 in the title of your comment e-mail.

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