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Riverkeeper Demands Information from NRC on Fukushima-Related Concerns at Indian Point


Tina Posterli, Riverkeeper, 516-526-9371, [email protected]

Riverkeeper Files Multiple FOIA Requests to NRC

Ossining, NY, June 22, 2011 – Riverkeeper filed a multitude of formal requests for information with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission aimed at uncovering just how risky the Indian Point nuclear power plant is in light of the concerns raised by the ongoing Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

Ever since the devastating Tohoku earthquake and resulting tsunami crippled Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant this past March, Riverkeeper has been working on many fronts to hold the NRC accountable for the gross negligence regarding safety issues that continue to plague Indian Point. With this most recent action, Riverkeeper has tasked the NRC to provide a wide variety of information that will shed further light on how susceptible Indian Point is to the problems experienced at Fukushima.

“NRC’s complacency regarding critical safety issues at Indian Point must end,” said Riverkeeper Staff Attorney, Deborah Brancato. “Getting this information is a critical step toward understanding how a Fukushima type situation or other emergencies could occur at Indian Point.”

In particular, Riverkeeper has inquired about the following categories of information, which, under the federal Freedom of Information Act, NRC must provide Riverkeeper with any relevant information on:

  • What are all the back-up cooling water methods at Indian Point in the event that primary, secondary, etc., cooling water systems fail, and if Indian Point has to resort to water guns, helicopter water dumping, and other methods used at Fukushima, what are the plant’s plans for cleaning up massive amounts of contaminated water that would likely end up in the groundwater and/or on the Hudson River?
  • Are the spent fuel pools and dry cask units located on the Indian Point site, which house highly toxic nuclear waste, build to seismic standards and capable of staying intact in the event of other natural phenomenon, like tornadoes and hurricanes?
  • Can the Algonquin natural gas pipeline, which runs across the Indian Point site property, withstand all types of natural phenomenon, including earthquakes, or is the pipeline capable of causing problems with the safe operation of the plant in the event of an emergency?
  • Are the Service Water Systems and related piping and tanks at Indian Point, which together play a critical role in cooling the extremely hot nuclear fuel in the reactor core and in the spent fuel pools, build to withstand earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, and other natural phenomenon.
  • Are the emergency diesel generators at Indian Point, which are critical for plant safety in the event of an emergency, build to seismic standards and located above flood levels?
  • What is Entergy Nuclear Operation’s (Indian Point’s owner) justification for the their repeated statements that Indian Point was built to withstand a 6.1 magnitude earthquake?
  • Does the highly ineffective emergency planning program at Indian Point take into account the potential for contamination to the New York City water supply, which is located just miles from the plant?
  • What are ALL of the exemptions from regulations that Indian Point has ever received?

Riverkeeper is currently a party in the Indian Point license renewal proceeding where it has raised critical safety concerns demonstrating why the NRC should not relicense the aging, unsafe plant.

Riverkeeper is a member-supported watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents.

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