To the Editor:
I appreciate Margaret Sternberg’s excellent front page coverage of the Putnam County Legislature’s Health, Social, Educational and Environmental Committee’s forwarding to the Legislature a resolution to require Entergy to perform an Independent Safety Assessment (ISA) of Indian Point. The resolution will go before the full Legislature at its next regular meeting on Tuesday, February 6th at 7pm in the County Courthouse on Gleneida Avenue in Carmel.
Entergy has announced it will apply this spring for 20-year extensions of their operating licenses until 2033 (IP2) and 2035 (IP3).
Irradiated water has been leaking from an unknown number of sources, for an unknown amount of time, with an unknown amount having pooled under the plant and migrated into the Hudson River. The leakage includes a variety of known carcinogenic radioactive elements. A recent test of fish from the Hudson found readable levels of Strontium 90.
Despite the James Lee Witt report that the IP Evacuation Plan is inadequate and the withholding of State certification, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission signed off on the viability of the plan in July 2003 on the very day that a one-car fatal accident on the Tappan Zee Bridge resulted in a day-long traffic jam on every major roadway in Westchester.
Most recently we have learned that workers at Indian Point are afraid to report safety issues because they fear company retaliation.
I would encourage all residents who have any concern about the on-going operation of Indian Point to attend the Legislature meeting, especially those who live along the evacuation routes of Rt. 9, Rt. 9D and Sprout Brook Road in Philipstown; Oscawana Lake Road, Oscawana Heights Road and Peekskill Hollow Road in Putnam Valley; and Wood Street and Rt. 6N in the Town of Carmel. All these roads, with the exception of a few places on Rt. 9, are 2-lane roads that would need to accommodate up to 20,000 individuals in the event of an evacuation.
Putnam County gets not a single watt of electricity from Indian Point, but we all bear the risk. We deserve to know that critical systems are operating safely, which is why we need the Independent Safety Assessment as proposed by a bipartisan group of Federal elected officials. It would be unconscionable to permit a twenty-year license extension without having the knowledge that all systems are operating safely. The ISA is a non-partisan issue about the health and safety of 20 million people within a 50-mile radius of the plant. We need to let our new Governor and our federal representatives in the House and the Senate know that we expect all governmental offices to fulfill their obligations to protect the public welfare.