Editorials

Journal News Letters of Comment

Power from plant isn’t needed
Thursday’s blackout should cause all of us to realize that opponents of Indian Point have been right all along, especially on two points. First, there is no way an evacuation of this area can work. Second, we don’t need the power produced by Indian Point. Listening to the radio and talking to neighbors, I repeatedly heard nightmare reports about traffic not moving, people stuck on trains, overloaded buses passing people by and other travel problems. Power came back on in most areas before morning, but reports were that Indian Point would take several days to come back online. There have been times before when both reactors were down, yet we still had electricity. It makes no sense to allow this target to remain open when we can’t get out of the area quickly and don’t need what it produces.

Melanie A. Rush, Port Chester

 Blackout showed plant’s vulnerability

The Aug. 14 power outage provides a far more compelling demonstration of the vulnerability of the Indian Point nuclear facility than any make-believe drill.

The next multiple coordinated terrorist attack on U.S. soil is likely to begin with the sabotage of regional electricity and roadway infrastructures, and may very well occur as night falls. That means telephone systems (including most cell communication) down, warning sirens inoperative, and roadways choked with traffic, all happening in impenetrable darkness. Imagine the evening of Aug. 14 with several strategically located propane tanker-trailer “accidents,” followed by a major assault on Indian Point. However, picturing a successful defense against or a workable emergency response to such an attack requires more than imagination; it necessitates a belief in fantasy.

Michel Lee , Scarsdale, The writer is chairman, Council on Intelligent Energy & Conservation Policy.

County not ready for emergency
I agree with Phil Reisman’s opinion (Aug. 15 column) about the inadequacey of emergency preparedness for Westchester County.

As I was sitting in my car driving home from Mount Kisco to Hartsdale, I heard the news about the massive blackout along the eastern seaboard. I was confident that our emergency preparedness plan would be in effect, but I was quickly made aware that there is no plan. The backups on all the roads were tremendous. The north-south, east-west traffic at important intersections were deadlocked. As I was trying to get onto the Bronx River Parkway at Stevens Avenue in Valhalla, the north-south traffic refused to yield to the east-west traffic. There were no emergency workers anywhere to be seen. No firefighters, policemen or any other municipal/county worker directing traffic.

What if there is an emergency at Indian Point? If the county can’t handle a blackout, how will they handle prople in a panic situation during a nuclear disaster?

Florence Dolin , Harstdale

No need to risk dangers from plant
This blackout is another lesson we had better learn before it is too late. After listening to the shock and dismay of the public officials who said that experts told them that after the 1965 and 1977 blackouts, adjustments were made and that a large-scale cascading blackout could not happen again, my attention turns to the spokespeople of Indian Point who tell us that a large scale or rapid release of radiation can’t happen and that the evacuation plan will work.

It is the same scenario over and over. Big corporations with big profits tell the public not to worry, and then something they could not plan on and could not prevent happens. In the case of Indian Point, that means radioactive contamination in the most densely populated area of the United States, where the readers of this letter live. This blackout had nothing to do with a lack of electric power capacity. It resulted from inadequacies in the transmission and sharing of capacity. Now power is back, but Indian Point was still off-line through the weekend. In fact, Indian Point depends on outside electricity to run its cooling systems. When the power outside goes out, its diesel generators kick in. We can only hope that nothing happens to those generators in an emergency like last week. But don’t worry. Entergy says that can’t happen.

Indian Point is not necessary, and the risks of Indian Point are truly catastrophic. Let’s learn the lesson before it is too late.

Jeanne Shaw, Croton-on-Hudson”

These originally appeared in the Journal News

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