Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rivertown Patch--summary of Indian Point meeting

Indian Point Opponents: How Many Lives Is the Plant's Energy Worth?
Scientists, doctors, public officials and anti-Indian Point activists hold community forum on the similarities between Japan's Fukishima Power Plant and Indian Point.

By Lizzie Hedrick | Email the author | April 11, 2011

0 Megumi Tanifuji flew from Japan to the United States just four days ago to take part in a Peace Walk to raise awareness about the dangers of nuclear energy.

"You never know what is going to happen," said the slight 31-year-old. "Everyone told us we would be okay—that the plant was safe. I want Americans to think whether they really want to risk the dangers of nuclear power plants."

Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner in conjunction with the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (IPSEC) hosted a community forum Monday in Greenburgh Town Hall to discuss the similarities between Indian Point and the Fukishima Power Plant which—after a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March—has released radiation causing mass evacuations of the land around the plant and concern over the safety of food and water.

"I am concerned that, as police commissioner of the Town of Greenburgh, I would have no idea what to do if there were ever an evacuation," Feiner said. "We've never been told."

Current plans require a 10-mile-radius evacuation around Indian Point if a meltdown were ever to occur; but some Westchester lawmakers are proposing the radius be increased to 50 miles.

"Six legislators have joined together to establish a 50-mile evacuation zone around Indian Point," said Joy Haber, legislative aide to Democrat MaryJane Shimsky. "Indian Point is the number-one public safety issue in the area."

Expert panelists invited to speak were doctors, officials, scientists and concerned citizens—but all had one thing in common: the desire to close Indian Point.

"There is no such thing as safe exposure to radiation," said Dr. Andrew Kenter, president of the New York Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. "Doctors are asked to treat and fix people when they're broken; when we're unable to do that, we have to prevent those things from happening."

Former State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky said: "If there were to be a meltdown at Indian Point there would not be enough money in the world to save this community, this economy and the lives, health and safety of the people who live here."

John Armbruster has been studying earthquakes in the Metropolitan area. "We are asking for a thorough, modern re-evaluation of the preparedness of Indian Point to the occurrence of earthquakes using up-to-date evaluation methods that were not available when Indian Point was originally licensed," he said.

Operating licenses for Indian Points' two units expire in 2013 and 2015. The state Department of Environmental Conservation declined last April to give Entergy—the plant's operating company— the water quality certification it needs for relicensing. But the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), whose approval is also required, recently said that no environmental impact exists to prevent the power plant from getting relicensed for another 20 years.

"You have to be suspicious of what you hear from the NRC," cautioned Mark Jacobs, co-founder of IPSEC. "Their job is both to promote and regulate nuclear energy. Obviously, both can't be done."

According to Marilyn Elie, co-founder of the Westchester Citizens Awareness Network, only five percent of energy in the Hudson Valley is generated from nuclear power from India Point.

"We know that Indian Point and Fukishima had different reactors and were on different ground," Elie said. "But what they share are regulators who feel they can predict and plan for everything. What we have to ask is how many lives is that five percent of energy worth?"


Tom said...

"I am concerned that, as police commissioner[sic] of the Town of Greenburgh, I would have no idea what to do if there were ever an evacuation," Feiner said. "We've never been told."

This statement by Paul is simply NOT TRUE, but played well with the crowd of aging hippies and wackos!
All communities and their leaders were given evacuation booklets produced by Entergy and the County. They were distributed by the pallet-load. The fact that Paul wanted to do away with County government still didn't preclude Greenburgh from receiving them. Greenburgh's schools are the recipients for children who are bused from the Indian Point area.