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Riverkeeper Responds to Congressional Homeland Security Subcommittee Aerial Tour of Indian Point


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Contact: Tina Posterli, 516-526-9371, [email protected]

Submits critical questions to Congresswoman Lowey, subcommittee members
Ossining, NY – March 16, 2012 – Members of the House Appropriation Subcommittee on Homeland Security, including Congresswoman Lowey from New York, had the unique occasion to participate in an aerial tour of the Indian Point nuclear plant and surrounding area yesterday to review critical infrastructure in New York and the need for adequate federal anti-terrorism funding. Riverkeeper supports Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts and encourages Congresswoman Lowey and the other members of the Subcommittee to consider increased funding for New York City and New York State for this purpose. In response to the flyover, Riverkeeper has submitted follow-up, pointed questions to the committee to use as an opportunity to hold NRC’s feet to the fire to ensure that critical issues are addressed in the relicensing of Indian Point.

Riverkeeper greatly appreciates and supports Congresswoman Lowey’s efforts to address the many significant concerns surrounding the operation of Indian Point, in the wake of the catastrophe at the Fukushima nuclear facility just one year ago, including her recent effort to expand NRC evacuation plan requirements to include areas within 50 miles of a nuclear facility. Likewise, Riverkeeper has been working on various fronts to hold the NRC answerable to the many questions raised by this most recent nuclear disaster.

Highlights of the questions Riverkeeper submitted to members of the Subcommittee include:

  • Why does NRC refuse to require Entergy to move as much spent fuel as possible from the densely packed, leaking pools to dry cask storage?
  • Why won’t NRC provide the same conservative assumptions that were afforded to American residents in Japan by requiring evacuation planning for a 50-mile radius surrounding U.S. nuclear plants?
  • Why does NRC refuse to review and assess issues related to the adequacy of emergency preparedness in the Indian Point license renewal proceeding?
  • If necessary because of a serious accident (for example, one of similar magnitude to the incident at Fukushima) how would NRC ensure that the 20 million people within 50 miles of Indian Point would be safely evacuated?
  • What is the NRC and Entergy’s basis for summarily stating that Indian Point is properly equipped to handle earthquakes of other natural phenomenon?
  • Why does the NRC refuse to consider new seismic information in the Indian Point license renewal proceeding?
  • In the event of a serious accident, can NRC and Entergy guarantee that the area will not be subject to a large-scale radiological release?

“Yesterday’s flyover provides a great opportunity for Subcommittee members to focus on critical concerns as to why Indian Point shouldn’t be relicensed, “said Phillip Musegaas, Hudson River Program Director for Riverkeeper. “From an aerial view, the committee members no doubt had a clear perspective on the impossibility of evacuating the New York City area in the event of an accident or attack on Indian Point.”

Read Riverkeeper’s full letter.

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