September 21, 2005 – Tarrytown, NY – Today, in light of yesterday’s announcement that radioactive coolant has been leaking from Indian Point 2’s spent fuel pool, Riverkeeper called on Governor Pataki and Senators Clinton and Schumer to demand an in-depth, independent assessment of Indian Point’s spent fuel storage system. The group also called for testing the ground water in the neighborhoods around Indian Point as well as the waters and sediments of the Hudson River in front of the plant.
“It is outrageous that we have yet another safety breach at Indian Point,” said Alex Matthiessen, President of Riverkeeper. “The rate at which bad news is coming out of Indian Point is dizzying. What is it going to take for New York’s top political leaders to stand up and say, ‘enough is enough’?
Yesterday, county officials voiced their concerns over the NRC and Entergy’s two-week delay in notifying local officials. Westchester County Executive Andy Spano said, “It’s absolutely unbelievable that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Entergy would keep us in the dark… Something is very wrong with this system. If we’ve learned anything from Katrina, it’s that communication is vital. This is just one more reason why I want Indian Point closed.”
CJ Miller, spokesperson for Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef, said, “County Executive Vanderhoef was notified a half hour before Entergy and the NRC issued their press releases. The county executive should have been told well in advance of the public and the press being notified.”
These communication failures call into question the NRC’s ability to fulfill their charge of protecting public health and safety and highlight concerns Riverkeeper has raised regarding the company’s plans to seek a twenty-year license extension.
“If the concrete walls of the spent fuel pool are already cracking, it seems more than likely that other components of the plant are degraded as well,” said Matthiessen. “In theory, this should suggest to the NRC that their pro forma process for granting nuclear plant operators 20-year license extensions may not be such a good idea and that maybe they should actually subject the 40-year old facilities to a full review. Given the string of problems that continue to plague Indian Point, the NRC must look at the structural and operational integrity of the entire plant, as well as its emergency plans.”
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