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The Future of Indian Point on Second Anniversary of Disaster at Fukushima Daiichi


Contact: Tina Posterli, Riverkeeper, 516-526-9371

Riverkeeper working on many fronts to close outdated, dangerous nuclear plant

OSSINING, NY – March 11, 2013 – As we recall the tragic nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi two years ago, Riverkeeper continues its work on many different fronts to prevent the impact of a similar disaster from unfolding at the Indian Point nuclear power plant.

Indian Point is surrounded by 20 million people within a 50-mile radius and situated just 34 miles from Times Square. It’s not engineered for the region’s earthquake risk, has operated without a viable fire safety plan for years and has a terrible safety record. What’s more, governments at every level — and one of the nation’s foremost experts on emergency planning — have flatly called evacuation plans “unworkable.”

“Indian Point is a dangerous reactor like no other plant in the country,” said Phillip Musegaas, Riverkeeper’s Hudson River Program Director. “This year is a vital one in determining Indian Point’s future. Relicensing hearings will continue as New York State proceeds with plans to replace Indian Point’s electricity with cleaner and safer alternatives. We need to heed the lessons learned from the horrible tragedy that occurred and is still occurring in Japan and open the door to a safe, sustainable energy future.”

Over the upcoming months, Riverkeeper will be focusing on the following actions:

  • Ensure that the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Washington ruling to throw out the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) “Waste Confidence Decision” is upheld and that the agency conducts a comprehensive and adequate environmental impact study about the dangers and effects of storing toxic nuclear waste not only at Indian Point but at every reactor site in the U.S. before a license can be issued or renewed.
  • Further ongoing dialogue and follow-up on actions requested of NRC Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane at a February meeting to discuss concerns about the continued operation of Indian Point:

    – Require Entergy to move spent nuclear fuel from Indian Point’s two overfilled pools to dry cask storage, in order to reduce the risk of a catastrophic fire.
    – Conduct an independent review of Indian Point’s emergency plan that solicits and fully considers public input from communities around Indian Point
    – Hold public meetings in New York in 2013 on the NRC’s ongoing review of nuclear waste storage and status of Entergy’s compliance with fire safety regulations/status of fire exemptions.
    – Require Entergy to complete an updated assessment to examine earthquake vulnerability before any decision on Indian Point relicensing is made.

  • Continue to support New York State’s landmark denial of a critical Clean Water Act certification needed by Entergy to obtain a twenty year license renewal from the NRC. Riverkeeper and New York State environmental attorneys are fighting Entergy’s army of lawyers in administrative hearings on this certification in Albany, which are set to resume in July.
  • Leverage the Synapse Energy Economics report to advocate for a plan to move ahead into a new energy future that eliminates the need for Indian Point.
  • Continue to present compelling expert-supported evidence in the Indian Point license renewal proceeding to a Federal Atomic Safety and Licensing Board of the NRC relating to the many reasons why the plant must not be allowed to continue to operate.

Riverkeeper has been raising concerns about Indian Point’s impact on the Hudson River ecosystem for more than forty years, and has fought to close the reactors since just after the September 11 terrorist attacks, when it learned of the plant’s vulnerability to terrorism and poor safety record. Since the tragedy began unfolding at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Riverkeeper has been working on many fronts to hold the NRC accountable for the gross negligence regarding safety issues that has continued at Indian Point.

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