Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Indian Point Still Scurtinized in Fukushima's Aftermath

Indian Point Still Scrutinized in Fukushima’s Aftermath

The Westchester Guardian
THURSDAY, May 19, 2011 Page 15

BUCHANAN, NY -- The aging Indian Point nuclear power plant fell under scrutiny after two
members of congress toured the Buchanan facility last week.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland) and
Congressman Eliot Engel (D-Bronx/ Rockland/Westchester) visited the
twin reactors accompanied by Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC ) Chairman
Gregory Jaczko on Tuesday, May 10,2011. Congresswoman Nan Hayworth
(R-Mount Kisco) who lives near Indian Point did not tour the plant. Hayworth has
gone on record for keeping the plant open. Lowey balked at the NRC ’s re-licensing
process that will keep the plant open for an additional 20 years.

“We want aging nuclear power plants to be held to the same standard as are new plants that are applying for licensing,” she told a large press core gathered at the plant with the containment domes clearly in the background. Both she and Engel have introduced legislation that would require older plants like Indian Point to be
re-licensed only if they met the same criteria as new plants.

In the aftermath of the tragic destruction at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power
complex in Japan from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, fears have surfaced about
two seismic fault lines under Indian Point. Lowey and Engel want the NRC to evaluate
how an earthquake would impact leaks in the spent fuel pools and the loss of power.
Engel said he wanted to know if Indian Point’s back up systems would keep
the irradiated fuel stored in the spent fuel pools cooled. Indian Point spent fuel pools
currently hold about 1,500 tons of irradiated fuel. In Fukushima, three of the seven
damaged cooling pools lost back up power and released large amounts of radiation after
the tsunami. A problem in 1999 caused the Indian Point reactors to be disconnected
from the grid and battery back up only lasted seven hours.
Lowey said the reactors would not be built where it is today because of the population
density and proximity to New York City and that if there was a disaster at
Indian Point, evacuating 20 million people within a 50-Mile Radius of the plant would
be impossible.

“It would be reckless and irresponsible for relicensing to go forward with an evacuation
plan that we know to be inadequate,” she emphasized. With Jaczko standing next to her,
Lowey questioned the NRC for having a double standard when they advised
Americans near Fukushima to evacuate within a 50-mile radius of the reactors.
“But why do the regulations require only people living within a 10-mile radius
to evacuate if there is an accident at Indian Point?”
Engel said he’s been calling for the closure of Indian Point since the 911
terrorist attacks, when the terrorist jets flew directly over the reactors on their way to the
World Trade Center.

“The world we live in has changed,” he said. “Indian Point should be closed and
my constituents believe it should be closed.”

Both representatives are calling for updated guidelines from emergency agencies who
would respond to a nuclear disaster. Jaczko said that the tour with Engel and
Lowey allowed him to hear their concerns first hand.

“We want to keep an open and transparent dialogue,” he told the press. The NRC
chairman also said the agency’s primary job was to evaluate the aging components of the
plant itself in the re-licensing process. “But we will also look at lessons learned from
what happened in Japan.”

Entergy has applied to the NRC to extend their operating license until 2035.
To date, the NRC has never denied a relicensing application and have approved 66.

Prior to the press conference, antinuclear protesters waiting to talk to
Congresswoman Lowey and Engel were forced off the grounds by state police.
Security for plant owner Entergy asked some 20 protestors to leave claiming Engel
and Lowey were scheduled to speak only to the press. When the protestors refused
to leave, state troopers were called in to escort them just outside the plant gates.
Neither Engel or Lowey stopped to talk to the protestors after addressing the press.
Jackzko however did listen to the protesters while shaking their hands.

The NRC will hold their annual assessment of safety performance of Indian Point
for 2010. The meeting is public and will be on June 2nd at Colonial Terrace,119 Oregon
Road, Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567.

Jaczko talking to protesters after press


22a-rbZD.007 said...

Ah, Ms. Luby, welcome back... we've missed you.

There's a spectrum of issues to consider.

The Fukushima plants were built too close to the shore, too low on the landscape, their seawall was inadequate to the tsunami threat, in a region historically known to suffer mag 8 earthquakes on a regular basis, and their diesel backups plus their fuel were stupidly situated at ground level. TEPCO stupidly omitted any consideration of offsite longterm power loss, venting filtration was stupidly never added to their containments ( as was done in the USA to prevent H2 explosions ), Japan stupidly bought flawed GE Mark-1 BWR units, with their fragile pseudo containments, left them unmodified, and STILL there was no loss of life, no irradiation of workers or citizens, and aside from legislative fiat, all the houses & farms in the exclusion area could be re-occupied immediately if health concerns were the only issue, but bureaucratic conservatism and aversion to litigation prefers a buyout of those expelled, instead of re-occupation. A moment of silence for the abandoned dogs, cats & dairy cattle, and the 60 year old TEPCO laborer who succumbed to a heart attack (as well as the 27,000 who drowned).

Whew! I'm glad we got THAT out of the way.

22a-rbZD.007 said...

Now on to issues germaine to Americans in the Hudson Valley. Those who sympathize strongly with Japanese victims ought to bite the bullet, & write a $1000 check to Japan Relief. Those who feign sympathy, and focus only on Fukushima, to the exclusion of the 250,000 who lost their homes to seawater, or their lives, or their families, ... expose themselves to criticism as hypocrites, opportunistically , even gleefully manipulating a Japanese tragedy into an American bias campaign. The ethics of such tunnel vision, such schadenfreude, such callous self-promotion is shaky at best, and despicable at its worst, and ought not be indulged, since many watching these events are cognizant of the past ethics-neutral behavior of antinuke orgs, and will bring a bright spotlight to bear ( should it be needed).

That said, Indian Point is not near a subduction plate, is 40 miles from the ocean, & sits on a bluff some 135 feet above sea level, absolutely immune to any tsunami threat imaginable or unimaginable. As far as earthquake minus tsunami, even Fukushima easily rode out a huge mag 9 quake sans damage. In our region, where mag 5 quakes have been felt, Indian Point is designed to well above that level. Stirring confusion about earthquake issues is not a pro-public activity, but rather a self-serving agendist sin....fearmongering on no scientific basis. If it were not for the tsunami, Fuku would be pumping out electricity right now.

But what of events not yet considered? Unbeknownst to you, NRC has been prompting all 104 American plants to present realistic contingency plans for severe accidents not previously analyzed, and these plans are in place, with workers trained to the plans. More than that can't be transmitted.

Indian Point's full containment Westinghouse PWR design is orders of magnitude more robust than the GE Mark-1 at Fukushima and in the event of power loss, its backup diesels (which themselves posses a backup) and their fuel tanks are situated far above any conceivable flooding threat at the 70 foot elevation. The spent fuel, much of it now in secure casks, is nowhere near the that a reactor failure cannot prevent fuel pool repairs as happened in Fukushima.

So lets tally up: No Tsunami. Diesels protected. Full (true) containment.( therefore no plume) No fuel pool interference danger. Contingency plans in place.

I would say that... absent the politically necessary exercise of reassuring people that nobody is smugly stonewalling improvement, Indian Point already had incorporated the lessons of the March 11 incident on March 10, by being better designed, better maintained, better situated, and much more ready than the Fukushima plants to withstand the realistic eventualities embodied in its siting.

But you did not know that, and now want to be told.


Now you've been told.

Additionally, the NYISO operator warns us that removal of IPEC will down our regional system.
I have a kerosene lantern.
Do you?
Close IPEC, and you'll be buying one.

By the way, Kerosene lanterns have dangerous radioactive flame mantles in them.
Betcha dint know that! Close IP, & be forced to use a dangerous radioactive gismo in your living room!
Ironic !