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Indian Point nuke site still in trouble

973 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  jar
New York's Indian Point Nuclear Generating Stations II & III are still fighting an uphill battle to remain open. This quote from Roger Witherspoon from The Journal News on January 11, 2003 pretty much sums up the problem:

Emergency evacuation plans in the event of a nuclear catastrophe at Indian Point "are not able to protect the public from an unacceptable dose of radiation," according to an independent, five-month analysis released yesterday.

Tell us something we don't know, Roger. It's more than just poor evacuation plans. Just ask the security guards at the site. For over ten years the guards have been complaining that the site is next to impossible to protect from an outside attack, much less an act of sabotage. Why? For that answer one needs to look to both the current owner of the site, Entergy, and the former owner, ConEd. Both owners of the site see security as a necessary evil forced upon them by the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission). For years the guard force has complained about the lack of concern for proper security measures but that has always fallen on deaf ears. After the September 11th attacks people began to look at Indian Point with a concerned eye. Rightfully so, the site is a major risk for everyone that lives around or near it.

But don't go by what I say. Here is a site that has a wealth of information about Indian Point and all the troubles surrounding it.

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I'm not anti-nuke at all, at least untill more enviornmentally freindly alternatives become viable.

Indian Point 2 is another matter, though. It's common knowledge that this is a plant that was designed and built during a much more secure time, and all those antiquated security defenses were grandfathered into a much more dangerous age. I worked there during the Gulf War, and security was an old, stale joke even then.

It wouldn't have been difficult or expensive to radically improve security at IP2 while I was there, but even though they were supposedly clearing a bit over $1M a day there was never any question of spending more on security then. Now, who knows? But how likely is it when you can see from way across the river (see above photo) that there have been no significant changes in the overall layout of the plant?

And if the reactor dome or fuel pool was ever breached, would you want to be downstream and downwind of Indian Point, like New York City is?

The concern always was that NYC needed the power. If they can do without IP2+3, like the link above claims, it seems that closing the plant and moving the spent fuel and other 'special nuclear materials' would be simple prudence.

Why the hell not?
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"Why the hell not?" The common answer is money and arrogance.

I grant it's been 40 years since I studied nuclear physics and power reactor design, but I rather doubt that the basic physics has changed. :lol: I never have figured out some of the justifications for site locations. Wheeling ain't a "gimme" for cheap, but locations NW of the built up areas of NY wouldn't increase costs enough to matter.

Regardless, there's no excuse for not increasing security around the site, and it's criminal not to.

Does anyone recall the recent blackouts in Ca.? Now theres a state full of "fruits and nuts" that suddenly is no longer anti-nuke.
If the state of N.Y. is serious about security they should shut IP down. Just don't ask for another bailout from the rest of the country to cover the shutdown and the new rate increases from the "sharks" sensing blood in the water as they did to Gray Davis.

Perhaps then the economc center of the country will move out of the city and away from the artificially high rates of doing business in an area drowning in it's own incompetence.

Come to think of it, shutting the doors on IP might have some positive lasting effects for the country and the nuclear power industry.
Thanks for the space to rant......
Feel free to rant about whatever you like here.

Shutting down Indian Point would send the word out to every power company that running unsafe nuke plants is a big no-no. It would also help those same companies to re-think their own security issues.

Many Con-Ed employees at IP 2 used to love looking down at the guard force as if they were second-class citizens. Here was a place that until recently still forced the guards to carry S&W .38 SPL revolvers in flapped holsters! The reality was many of the guards were retired NYPD, ranging from street cops and detectives to even a squad lieutenant. These were guys who had their act together, put in their time “on the job”, and were now working to help secure the site.

One can only hope that IP 2 and 3 will get shut down before they have yet another mishap.
"Another Thrashing for Indian Point"… or "Indian Point Gets its Winky Smacked Again"...

This is a must see for anyone that has HBO. If you don't have it, have someone tape the show. It's on at 8:00 PM (EST), September 9, 2004.

Here is the description from HBO's website:
Twenty million people live within a 50-mile radius of the Indian Point Energy Center and its three nuclear reactors. This film takes a cautionary, "what if?" look at the possible consequences of an accident or terrorist attack on the facility--a catastrophe that could potentially render much of the Hudson River Valley and New York City uninhabitable. Directed by Rory Kennedy (HBO's American Hollow), this documentary examines the vulnerability of nuclear power plants in general and Indian Point in particular with its alarming proximity to NYC, the fact that it is not protected in a "no fly" zone, its tons of on-site radioactive "spent" fuel cells, and evacuation strategies that are not endorsed by area residents.
Here is another worthy link.
I am reminded of "Mr Burns".
Just finished watching the show and have to say, it was very accurate regarding the dangers from Indian Point. Many things they touched upon have been common knowledge among the guard force members. I just hope that the plants get shut down sooner more than later.
On the contrary. Monty Burns would never hesitate to use excessive lethal force to protect his interests.

"Sir, the intruders breached the perimeter security and have entered the control room."

"Excellent! Release the hounds!"
I fail to make the connection between security pr0oblems and shutting down the plant.

If the specific design of the plant is seriously flawed, fine; shut it down. If the design allows for productivity, it should run.

The security problem, seems to me, is a separate issue. However, I'd think that area residents would be able to get action from TPTB in local, state and federal government.

The Unit 2 reactor should have been shut down long ago. The steam generators have had cracks for years. Every time the NRC threatens to shut the plant down, Con Ed (the plant owner at the time) would simply go into an outage (plant shutdown), weld up the cracks, and then start back up again. Shutting down a plant permanently sounds easier than it is. The reactor core will be hot for many years to come. Then there is the problem with the spent fuel. Indian Point has all the spent fuel on site since Unit 1 reactor went online. That is a lot of spent fuel that has to be looked out for.

When Unit 1 was first opened, there wasn’t the threat of modern day terrorists attacking us on the homeland. Then Units 2 and 3 were built next to Unit 1. Now you have three reactors, two active, and three sources for spent fuel. If you look at the site itself, it is virtually impossible to prevent a breach of the protected area (inner fence line within the owner controlled area). The trees on the North Hill go right up to the fences. Then there is the river front itself. As unsightly as it would be, the land around the plant should have been cleared away so as to make it harder for people to make it to the fence line undetected.

There are many other problems with the physical layout of the facility that was never addressed by the plant owners. If a nuclear plant in such a densely populated area cannot be well guarded, it should be shut down. This isn’t the late fifties/early sixties. Having worked there for two years, I can honestly say it would be far safer for the surrounding communities to shut the facility down.
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IP is only one of the horrific siting examples. There is also Calvert Cliffs in Maryland and San Luis Obispo and San Onofre. Horrible choices all.
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