INDIAN POINT IS SCHEDULED TO CLOSE AND FUKUSHIMA IS STILL A CATASTROPHE
Stopping the reactors is just the first step. How do you safely store 2,000 tons of radioactive material that is lethal for 240,000 years?
Can a radioactive site be decontaminated so it can be used for commerce and recreation?
How do you monitor and protect material so it doesn’t erupt in a radioactive disaster and contaminate the region?
These and related questions will be the focus of a special program looking into the future of Indian Point after it ceases operations and looking back at lessons learned from the ongoing catastrophe at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.The historic agreement to close the Indian Point reactors in 2020 and 2021 marks a whole new chapter in how Indian Point affects our community and the connection to the radioactive waste storage problems at Fukushima.
On Saturday, March 11, IPSEC (the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition) will present its sixth annual public remembrance of the still ongoing nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi reactors and a discussion of the major issues surrounding Indian Point’s future – decommissioning and storage of 2,300 tons of high level radioactive fuel assemblies.
The main event features Dr. Gordon Edwards, a noted independent scientist, who will speak about the difficulties involved and the planning needed to close a nuclear power plant safely. He will deal with the problems associated with the storage of high level radioactive waste and is a strong proponent of the “Rolling Stewardship” concept of high level nuclear waste storage. Rolling Stewardship calls for the fuel assemblies to be stored in casks above ground and monitored to make sure the waste is isolated from people and the environment. A deep geological depository means abandonment and eventual exposure of the radioactive waste as earth and water move over the 240,000 years the fuel assemblies are lethal.
The day starts with a silent Peace Walk, led by Buddhist nun Jun-san Yasuda of the Grafton Peace Pagoda. Walkers will meet at the Cortlandt Metro North Railroad Station at 10 AM and will have a prayer and peace crane ceremony at the former entrance to Indian Point (intersection of Bleakley and Broadway in Buchanan). The Peace Walk will continue to the Peekskill Riverfront Green on the Hudson River where there will be a Water Ceremony with the Seneca/Onondaga/Ramapough-Lenape members blessing and connecting of the rivers of our region. Walkers will proceed to the Peekskill Presbyterian Church in Peekskill at 1:30 PM (705 Park Street.)
The afternoon program begins with music by Dana Hanschford and other talented musicians. Marcia Slatkin will read her poems inspired by Fukushima, which will be published in book form this fall. We will hear the words of Naoke Suzuki, a Fukushima refuge who has not been able to return home. Jun-san Yasuda and the Peace Walkers will arrive at 2 PM, completing the last leg of their 90 mile Water for Life Walk.
We are providing a potluck meal for the Walkers. People are encouraged to bring food to share. After the meal we will reconvene to learn about the contamination of radiation in the disaster areas in Fukushima from Yasuyo Tanaka, an artist and environmentalist. Members of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition will provide an update on the closure agreement, we will hear from Nancy Vann of SenRG on the AIM pipeline. Rick Ufford-Chase and Chief Perry of the Ramapough-Lenape will speak briefly in regard to Standing Rock and Split Rock Sweet Water Camp in Mahwah.
We will then delve into the presentation by Dr. Edwards. Please join us. All are welcome.