10. Nowhere to put Indian Point’s highly-radioactive spent fuel – IP’s storage pools are already overfilled with spent fuel rods from the last 40 years of operations. The spent fuel pools are also leaking radioactive water into the ground and the Hudson River.
9. Two different earthquake fault lines cross just north of Indian Point, leading Columbia University to conclude that Indian Point is in pretty much the worst location for a nuke plant in the NY metro area.
8. The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”) revised its estimates of earthquake risk in 2010, concluding that Indian Point is the most likely nuke plant in the nation to experience core damage due to an earthquake. NRC higher ups say this is “not a serious concern” and won’t do further studies until 2012.
7. Indian Point: don’t worry – we can handle up to a 6.1 magnitude earthquake. Columbia University called a 7.0 quake “quite possible.”
6. Indian Point has been granted so many exemptions from safety rules in the last ten years that an NRC spokesman says he couldn’t possibly recount them all. To help jog NRC’s memory – it has relaxed requirements for insulation on electrical cables controlling the reactors; reduced inspection requirements on rusting containment domes and leaking spent fuel pools, extended deadlines for equipment designed to prevent sabotage, etc.
5. A New York State report on the evacuation plan for Indian Point concluded that the plan is based on shaky assumptions and won’t protect the public in the event of a real emergency. A subsequent federal study also found serious problem areas, especially in connection with the risk of attack on the spent fuel pools. Indian Point’s response: “it’s a very good plan.”
4. Indian Point’s evacuation plan only covers people living within ten miles from the plant. While NRC has told Americans living 50 miles from Fukushima to evacuate, it has not ordered Indian Point to prepare plans for a similar evacuation in case of an emergency in our area. Indian Point says any talk of a 50-mile evacuation plan here is “completely premature.” Twenty million Americans in three states live within 50 miles of Indian Point.
3. We don’t even really need the juice. Indian Point represents 12.5% of the electricity generating capacity in downstate New York. California conserved more than that in six months. If they can do it, we can too.
2. New York City’s most important drinking water reservoir lies fifteen miles from Indian Point. Nine million people depend on the safety of that water supply every day.
1. If we don’t do something, Indian Point could operate for another 40 years. Its original 40-year licenses are just about up and NRC says it sees no reason not to grant renewals. NRC, our only nuclear watchdog, refused to consider earthquake risk or evacuation problems during the Indian Point relicensing process. A leading nuclear physicist and former White House staffer calls NRC a “textbook case” of what happens when the industry gains control of a regulatory agency.
Indian Point is old, dangerous and near more people than any other nuke plant in the country. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given Indian Point more safety waivers than it can remember and its own data shows IP poses the greatest risk of reactor core damage due to earthquake in the country. There’s no plan for evacuating people in the danger zone.
It’s time for President Obama to act. Deny the license renewals for Indian Point and close it now!