"If you have a small accident and the wind's blowing right, everything within 18 miles would be uninhabitable," Howard said. "It's such a no-brainer to me."
The Orangeburg resident said he believed Indian Point to be an obvious target for terrorists and said the energy company had inadequate security
and evacuation plans.
Entergy Nuclear Northeast, owners of the twin plants in Buchanan, must apply to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for re-licensing and can do
so five years before current ones expire, which will be in 2013 and 2015, respectively. If approved, the licenses would be valid for 20 years.
Although a Town Board resolution would have no legal authority with the NRC, Pam Cantor of Piermont said it would give the regulatory group a sense of what the community wanted. She said similar resolutions had been passed in five counties and 28 towns in New York and New Jersey.
"It builds pressure, town by town, city by city, person by person," Cantor said. "Once they see towns and counties doing this, it puts more pressure on them."
Ramapo, Clarkstown, Nyack, several other municipalities and Rockland County have passed similar resolutions in recent years. Last year, however, Orangetown voted down such a resolution by a 3-2 margin.
Denis Troy, a Republican board member, said it was premature to pass such a resolution because there was much to consider if the plant were to close.
"I want an alternative energy source and I want data," Troy said, adding that he wanted to know how closing Indian Point would affect the region's energy supply. "I don't have adequate information to make a decision."
He said other issues, such as keeping taxes down and taking care of Orangetown's infrastructure, took precedence. "I think that's far more important than passing a memorializing resolution," Troy said.
Cantor said the group expected to talk about renewable energy sources at the Feb. 14 Town Board meeting.
Marie Manning, a Democrat, supported the coalition and viewed its efforts as part of a larger movement to close the plant.
"I think it's in such a strategically dangerous place that it should be shut down. It's in a dreadful location," Manning said. "The more people that do it, the more power the resolution has."
Tom Morr, a Republican board member, said there was no harm in passing a resolution, but he wanted a realistic energy replacement plan to be addressed.
"I support the idea, as long as plans are in place," he said. "We're trying to do our part ... We're a small fish in a big pond."“