Tuesday, March 18, 2008

NRC Hearing On Indian Point Considers Preliminary Issues

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Atomic Safety and Licensing Board heard oral arguments on whether the NRC should renew the Indian Point nuclear power plant operating license for an additional twenty years on Monday, March 10, Tuesday, March 11, and Wednesday, March 12. The oral arguments were heard at the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains, from 9 am - 5 pm. Several groups presented their views opposing the renewal of the Indian Point operating license. Opponents included Riverkeeper, and New York State (represented by the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Environmental Conservation).

The point of the preliminary hearing was to determine which issues will have standing in the actual license renewal hearing process. The panel heard concerns about four areas: 1) Terrorism Risks and Severe Accidents, 2) Safety Problems, 3) Killing of Hudson River Fish and Aquatic Life and 4) Radioactive Leaks and Radioactive Waste. AAEA-NY supports the relicensing and has specific concerns about plans of opponents to try to use the false fish egg complaint as a backdoor way to close the plant. Opponents state that:

"Entergy fails to accurately assess the impacts of Indian Point’s cooling water intake system on Hudson River fisheries caused by entrainment, impingement and heat shock (thermal discharge). Using once-through cooling systems, Indian Point withdraws up to 2.5 billion gallons of Hudson River water per day, killing a billion Hudson River fish, eggs, and larvae annually."
We strongly disagree with this contention because fish eggs are threatened by many sources of pollution, particularly poison runoff from cities, towns, farms and residences. Our biggest complaint is that if Indian Point is closed more pollution will be generated from other sources to make up for IP's 2,000 megawatts of emission free electricity. Basically fish, eggs and larvae are being pitted against the lives of asthmatic children in Harlem and the Bronx.

1 comment:

djysrv said...

See Idaho Samizdat "Indian Point under fire" more for details.