Indian Point Is Operating Without A License.
- New York 10/02/2013 by Tom Siracuse (Shut Down Indian Point Now)
The NY State Committee on Energy and Telecommunications held a public hearing at 250 Broadway to consider a contingency plan in case Indian Point nuclear power plant had to close. The license of one of IP's reactors expired on Sept 28 and the other reactor's license will expire in 2015. Few people showed up.
"Shut Down Indian Point Now" (SDIPN) organized a press conference on September 30th the day of the hearing, but only one reporter from a Chinese news outlet showed up. There were a dozen people from SDIPN and "Indian Pt. Safe Energy Coalition" (IPSEC). We gave out literature, our press release and showed banners. We could not take our banners and signs into the hearing and we could not ask any questions.
Only three members of the eleven person Senate Committee were present: the chair, George Maziarz-(R) Niagra, David Carlucci-(D) Rockland and Patty Richie-(R) Oswego. Even though the hearing was held in the City, none of the three NYC members were present: Eric Adams, Martin Malave-Dilan and Kevin Parker all from Brooklyn.
This procedure could hardly be called a "public" hearing. The speakers had been selected before the conference and no new speakers were allowed. The Committee was only interested in talking about how to replace the energy supplied by Indian Point in case it does close. The NYS Assembly Committee on Energy & Corporations had a public hearing in January 2012 and later concluded that the closing of Indian Point could proceed without any electricity shortages or rate increases.
The first speakers represented Entergy, owner of Indian Point, the Westchester Business Association and the unions who all claimed that IP's energy was crucial for NYC's energy needs and that its closing or even a contingency plan would be harmful to the economy. However, a spokesman for Con Edison recommended that NYS should upgrade the total electrical grid in NYS not only to meet any shortage caused by IP's possible closure but because it would benefit the entire state anyway.
The last two speakers represented Riverkeeper and The Radiation & Public Health Project. They both stated that Entergy's claim that IP accounts for 25% of NY's energy is unsubstantiated. They also pointed out the real dangers that this decrepit plant presented to the region. Indian Pt. is located near two earthquake faults and has been cited as the nuclear plant most likely to melt down in case of an earthquake. Susan Shapiro of the Radiation & Public Health Project was especially sharp in exposing the bad condition of the plant, its radiation leaks and cancer rates in the area and the impossibility of safely storing the toxic spent fuel as well as the impossibility of evacuating the population within a ten mile radius of the plant in case of a meltdown. By the time they spoke, however, the other speakers who claimed that IP was a shining example of safety, had left.
The NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation has so far refused to issue a clearance for IP because of the plant's contamination of the Hudson and this is needed to renew its license. Entergy refuses to accept this and has been appealing for two years. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given Indian Point many variances to operate despite IP's problems and since the Sept 28 license expiration, has allowed IP to operate without a license--the only nuclear plant in the country to do this! Hopefully the Dept. of Environmental Conservation will come to a final determination soon and definitively refuse a permit for this ticking time bomb just 25 miles from NYC.
-Tom Siracuse Chair of SDIPN