Week in and week out, something always seems to be going wrong at the Indian Point nuclear power plants, yet nothing is ever deemed to be a danger to the public.
The mere existence of a ticking time bomb in the middle of a heavily populated area where hundreds of thousands of lives could be obliterated in minutes is enough of a daily danger, and enough of a reason to pull the plug on the plants.
Many have taken that stance over the years, but their outcries evaporate into the air, much like the harmful emissions that float over the Hudson River.
Entergy is currently in the process of getting all its paperwork ready to seek a renewal of its licenses from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The license for Indian Point 2 expires in 2013. The license for Indian Point 3 expires in 2015. Based on the plant’s flawed performance over the last 30 years alone, the NRC shouldn’t even open the envelopes from Entergy. After all, Indian Point 2, just a few years ago, received the lowest rating of any of the 103 nuclear plants in the nation. And the problems continue today….
Leaks, malfunctions, false alarms
The plants keep springing leaks of various kinds. The emergency siren system keeps malfunctioning. The so-called evacuation plan keeps attracting more negative attention. Then, last Wednesday, the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) almost caused mass hysteria by distributing an e-mail to the media and others that declared an emergency at Indian Point.
Within a few minutes, SEMO, which was conducting an internal training session, discovered it had made a major blunder and hurriedly rectified the situation with a follow-up e-mail. This is one of the agencies supposedly keeping a close eye on Indian Point for the public. If it wasn’t such a serious topic, it would make a terrific sitcom, and there are plenty of fools that could be cast.
There’s a bill pending in Congress calling for an independent safety assessment of Indian Point. Great, so what’s the holdup? Are lawmakers waiting until after Entergy gets its licenses renewed so such a study would essentially mean squat if anything negative is discovered? Instead of wasting money on a study, money should be invested to transform the site for either an alternative energy source or research center.
The plants were beneficial when they were new, but they have steadily declined to the point where they are now a serious safety hazard. Any license extension would be like playing Russian roulette.