“Near Misses” at Indian Point and Other Nuke Plants

Federal inspectors found “near-miss” accidents at Indian Point on the Hudson and 13 other U.S. nuclear power plants last year, a watchdog group charged today.

A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, based on Nuclear Regulatory Commission data, claimed that “many of these significant events occurred because reactor owners, and often the NRC, tolerated known safety problems.”

In the inspection of Indian Point about 25 miles from New York City, NRC auditors found that “the liner of a refueling cavity at Unit 2 has been leaking since at least 1993.”

The USC report charged that “By allowing this reactor to continue operating with equipment that cannot perform its only safety function, the NRC is putting people living around Indian Point at elevated and undue risk.”

David Lochbaum, director of UCS’s Nuclear Safety Program, said that “the chances of a disaster at a nuclear plant are low” but “the more owners sweep safety problems under the rug and the longer safety problems remain uncorrected, the higher the risk climbs.”

Edwin Lyman, a physicist in the UCS Global Security Program, also questioned the U.S. action in advising Americans to clear out for a 50-mile radius around the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.

Lyman said that the standard in the U.S. set by the NRC and the Environmental Protection Agency only called for a 10-mile evacuation radius around a stricken plant.

“The level of complacency here at home is appalling,” Lyman said. “They’re gonna’ have to get their act together.”



3 Responses to “ShutDownIndianPointNow!”

  1. gracchusgreen Says:

    Hey, I’m gonna join the SDIPN! group so we can shut down Indian Point ASAP!

  2. gracchusgreen Says:

    Yes, let’s do it–shut it down now!

    No nukes!

    Cuomo won’t shut it down, either. Howie Hawkins for Governor!

    Go Green Party!

  3. gracchusgreen Says:

    The poorly protected spent fuel pools at Indian Point are another source of great risk to the New York area. As alarming as the results of Dr. Lyman’s study are, they do not include the consequences of an attack that would damage the spent fuel pools as well as the reactors.

    Among the 2004 report’s key findings are:

    Up to 44,000 near-term deaths from acute radiation poisoning could occur in the unlikely event of a complete evacuation of the 10-mile radius zone covered by current emergency plans. This number could be even higher for more realistic evacuation scenarios. These deaths could occur among people living as far as 60 miles downwind of Indian Point.
    Up to 518,000 people could eventually die from cancer within 50 miles of Indian Point as a result of radiation exposures received within seven days of the attack.
    Hundreds of billions to trillions of dollars of economic damages could befall the New York City metropolitan area, leveling a major blow to U.S. and world economic stability.
    Millions of survivors could be permanently displaced because of extensive radiological contamination of their property.

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