News

“New York State DEC Denies Indian Point water use permit 4 Fires rage in Nuclear Plants across the Nation”

“The DEC denied Indian Points water use permits because they do not and will not comply with existing new York water quality standards.

The legal team of Assemblyman Richard Brodsky and Rockland County Attorney Susan Shapiro first started litigation this issue in 2002.

Currently this team is litigating the failure of the NRC to enforce fire protection regulations at Indian Point by reducing fire protection from 3 hours to 24 minutes.

Over this past weekend of March 27-28 four nuclear plants in the US had fire events.  Emergencies were declared at two Progress Energy nuclear power plants in the Carolinas over the weekend due to fires.   There was also a fire at a nuclear power plant in Ohio on Sunday that sent two firefighters to the hospital.

These fire events underscore the need for the U.S Nuclear Industry to comply with fire safety regulations.. However, at the request of the owners of Indian Point, the NRC has waived regulatory requirements for fire protection insulation to protect key safety systems for at least one hour and have lowered the requirement to 24-minutes.  Their rationale was that all foreseeable fire events would be adequately controlled and extinguished within twenty four minutes.  Here are excerpts from the NRC incident report from the fire event at the Perry plant in Ohio.

“At 1818 , the control room was notified of a lube oil fire on Reactor Feed Pump Turbine B……The fire was reported to be out by the fire brigade leader at 2122.”

Despite the NRC assurance that fires can be controlled within 24-minutes, this nuclear plant fire took a little over three hours to control.  The NRC regulatory compromises directly contravene the NRC primary responsibility of protecting the public health and safety.

BACKGROUND

For 20 years Congress has been holding hearings about fire safety problems at nuclear plants.  The NRC approved Hemyc as a fire wrap for use in most nuclear plants, because  Hemyc manufacturers claimed it had a 1 hour fire rating.  Yet when Congress finally ordered the NRC to test Hemyc the results proved that Hemyc only works for 24 minutes.  The NRC response was not to retrofit the plants to improve product performance, , but  it was to reduce product requirements. There is no question that fire is among the greatest dangers at nuclear plants and these old plants are not in compliance.  By refusing to enforce the fire protection regulations the NRC has abdicated its job to protect public health and safety.

In a historic litigation Stakeholders near Indian Point have filed suit in district court due to the NRC arbitrary decision to drastically reduce fire protection at Indian Point to only 24 minutes placing the public at risk of a meltdown.  About 8% of US population resides within 50-miles of Indian Point.  This is why attorneys Susan Shapiro and Richard Brodsky,  representing the Indian Point Stakeholders; Westchester’s Citizen’s Awareness Network, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, Rockland County Conservation Association,  Public Health and Sustainable Energy and New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky have filed suit on behalf of public safety.”

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