Skepticism Grows About Safety Of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant

BUCHANAN, NY (WCBS 880) – With the earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan leaving nuclear reactors there on the verge of meltdown, those who live around them in our area are on edge.

A new report shows federal inspectors logged several “near miss” accidents at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan in 2010.

Former Westchester County Assemblyman Richard Brodsky calls the findings troubling. Brodsky questioned whether the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, charged with ensuring the safety of nuclear facilities, was up to the job.

“The NRC is to nuclear power today what the SEC was to Wall Street three years ago,” says Brodsky.

New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent a letter to the  Nuclear Regulatory Commission saying that earthquake resistance should be taken into account when granting new licenses that would keep the plants working well into 2030.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond with Richard Brodsky

Indian Point 2 is licensed through 2013  and Indian Point 3 through 2015.  A commission spokesperson said the NRC would review the request and get back to the attorney general.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond also gets comments from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

Richard Sheirer, who headed the New York City Office of Emergency Management during 9/11, insists the plant is safe. Sheirer is a safety consultant for the plant.

“I’m very confident. I think they do an exceptional job,” says Sheirer.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for a review of the situation.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Robert Menendez have both raised concerns about nuclear facilities there.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making it crystal clear that he does not believe that Indian Point should be shut down at this point.

Mayor Bloomberg discusses Indian Point

“We need energy in this city, and the first thing we have to do is take a very close look at what happened in Japan and see if there’s any lessons that we should learn from that and any improvements that we should learn and make at Indian Point,” said Bloomberg.

Long term, Bloomberg says more energy is needed from different sources, including wind, solar – even reclaiming power from garbage. Short term, Bloomberg said, Indian Point is necessary. Sheirer agreed: the benefits of the plant outweigh the risks.

Some Rockland County residents don’t share that view.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell in Stony Point

Resident Jessie Razarian told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell she wouldn’t stand a chance in the event disaster struck the plant – and any evacuation attempt would be pointless. “Instead of sitting in traffic, I’d rather sit with my family, listen to music, watch movies, and enjoy the rest [of] what [time] we have.”

In response to comments offered by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman regarding Indian Point, John Durso, Jr., Executive Director for the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA) issued the following statement:

For more than 30 years, independent experts have studied seismic related issues about Indian Point and continually found the facility to be safe.  In 2008 a panel of highly renowned, independent experts evaluated 64 safety issues at Indian Point, including seismic design, and also determined the plant is very safe.

There are also fundamental differences between Indian Point and the Fukushima plants. Indian Point is on a river, 24 miles from the coast, while Fukushima is on an ocean. Tsunamis are known to occur in Japan; there is no record of them in New York State, especially so well inland. Important lessons will be learned from Fukushima and there will be even higher safety standards and practices at U.S. nuclear plants.

We urge all policy makers as well as the nuclear power industry to pay attention to these findings so that nuclear power in New York and the United States will continue to provide clean, reliable and safe energy in the future.”

What do you think? Should Indian Point be shut down, or is it safe? Sound off in our comments section.

More from Marla Diamond
  • Rich

    The ramapo fault is 4 miles up river and is not a tectonic moving fault. It hasn’t moved in 2.6 million years. We do not get large earthquakes or tsunamis here in this region. These are all facts published by the USGS. Cuomo is misrepresenting facts about the plant. It is safe and better option for power than any other. try sitting in the dark and turning off your heat to start training what it will be like when the power goes off. The plant is designed for all earthquakes and terrorist activity.

    • Steve

      Facts???? Is that all you have to offer?
      Only intelligent people listen to facts.

  • JOE


  • Aristedes Philip DuVal

    ALL NUKE PLANTS are built & designed to LEAK! The huge rise of CANCER worldwide closely follows the proliferation of Nuclear Power Plants. There are maps which few of the public has ever seen detailing the deleterious effects downwind & around the plants where irradiated steam & water are released.
    The AMA, AEC, NRC & IAEC along with governments worldwide are complicit in the MASSIVE COVERUP of the health dangers of Nuclear power plants. Building them near populated areas is an inexcusably criminal act. Additionally, no-one knows what to do with the waste. Instead of practicing Energy Conservation, and development of Alternative Energy sources, the powers-that-be continue to tax society for their ugly motives. Nuclear Power is NOT efficient- when you factor in the incredibly unnecessary dangers to public health, Nuclear power turns out to be astronomically expensive! Reason dictates ALL REACTORS SHOULD BE CLOSED DOWN. GREED & SOCIETAL CONTROL says otherwise. Which side are YOU on?

    • Steve

      Shut up and eat your bean sprouts.

  • CJ

    In Japan the Tsunami struck and people had only minutes to escape. It travelled up to 10 kilometers inland. Over 10,000 people were killed within minutes. Using the same alarmist reasoning as those who call for shutting down Nuclear Plants in this country, would it not also be prudent to not allow any residence within 5 miles of any ocean in the United States? This is espescially true for the west coast where there is a fault line right off the coast. A Tsunami there, will happen, it is only a matter of time. For all those calling for immediate shutdown of nuclear plants, please also push for immediately outlawing all homes within sight of the ocean and then you will be doing something more reasonable.

  • siculari

    The plane is not safe so let’s ground all planes


    See even Rick agrees with me it is all about money. The residents of Buchanan are worried about their Real Estate Taxes and Payroll taxes. Yep that makes a lot of sense if there is a release of radiation and they have to leave those homes forever and no insurance coverage. Not to mention the cancer. Lets see, the money he is talking about is involving about 60,000 people in Buchanan vs. 22 million. Look if it can be proven safe fine I have no problem. But if there is even the slightest chance of a problem it is actually immoral to keep it open. Also the part about were is the power going to come from, the same place it has been coming from when the plant is shut sometimes for months and no one notices, not a light flickers. We get the power from Canada hydro plants. Yes a bit more money. The B.S is we can’t survive without the plant, fact is we have already.
    Why do you think there is a re-licensing policy, because things get old, and have to be retested. The plant is 40 years old, what advances have been made in 40 years on your cars.
    Prove it safe I then have no problem with that. Hey we have Google simple anyone want the facts don’t listen to me, do a search on problems at Indian Point and years of data will come up. This is the internet age you can’t hide the truth.

  • Rick

    A lot of noise and no viable alternatives. “Not in my backyard” metalities abound. Go away Enetergy but make sure I still can charge my iPod. Since the NY metro area gets about 1/3 of its power from IP, how does one fill that gap if you take IP offline? How will Cuomo address rolling blackouts and no air conditioning in the summer? What about all those new Chevy Volts that can’t be charged? Demand keeps increasing but no one will bring new production on line. Can’t do windmills because they are unsightly and harm migrating birds. Can’t do coal or natural gas fired plants due to global warming and greenhouse emissions. Plenty of soundbites and hand wringing from these career politicians with little or no practical experience running anything but for office, but absolutely no practical solutions, simply more of the same.
    And who pays the real estate and payroll taxes if Entergy isn’t around to pay them? Are the residents of Buchanan going to pick up the slack since they no longer have to live in fear or are services cut and/or eliminated, which by the way, means fewer jobs? Funny how no one seems to mention that.

  • Joe Pilot

    All I know, is when I fly a small plane over it, I see day glo green liquid in the cooling pond nearby, and my wet compass starts spinning wildly when directly over it. BTW,
    This observation is yearly, sine 1984 when I got my first license.

    • Buchanan resident

      Joe Pilot, I think you are looking at an old rock quarry that is next to the plant. It is not connected at all to the plant. The cooling ponds are covered so you can’t see them from the air.

      • Joe Pilot

        Oh, I see, thanks, Buchanan resident,
        that explains the day glo green, it’s blue green algae.

      • Frank D

        I think old Joe Pilot is still looking for the Carrier he took off on a secret mission for Roosevelt lol

    • Frank D

      Could it be the 345,000 volts coming out of there?

    • Steve

      You know what’s really scary? That the FAA would give a pilot’s license to such an obvious moron.

  • Joe Cali

    Tokyo is 200 miles from their meltdowns, and they are receiving radiaton. NYC is 30 miles from I.P. 200,000 people are in the 50 mile injury zone in Japan. I.P’s zone has 22 million people that are in our zone. NYC,Wall Street the total ecomomy of the U.S. is in that zone. IP has been shut for many reasons over the years and was there ever Black Out or even a Brown out because of it, NOPE!!!!!
    So it is all money for the Utility and big business. Ok so we have to pay a bit extra for our service. You rather leave your your home and never come back, no insurance coverage for a melt down. so don’t tell me we need the juice or we can trust Entergy. They said Chernobyl , Three Mile Island, The Gulf oil spill could not happen. What about, the plants in Japan, same story no problem, safe, clean and quiet.. Right now 3 are melting down, they said that could not happen. The NYS Attorney General on FEB 16 files suite aganst the NRC to remove the Spent Fuel Rods. There are the rods that have been use and are in OUT SIDE STORGE POOLS . IN Japan they are worried about their spend rods because if there is a loss water it is the worst case, they are just in metal sheds out side. Worst then a standard meltdown.
    IP was was also in the list of the terrorists that hit the WTC. One plane flew so low by the plant the police in Rockland County were alearted. All they had to do was make a quick left and hit those pools and we would be worst off then Japan. Read be informed don’t just stand by and like we did on 911 and said who would think anyone would would fly two passenger planes into those building. If you need a slap in the face to get you to your senses, remember what those lower Manhattan looked like when those 110 story builds stood.

    • Frank D

      I guess there’s difference between a reactor vessel and containment building?
      Actually Chernobyl didn’t even have a containment. Getting mired in reality is boring.

      The word “meltdown” is thrown around like it’s a radiation leak. It’s not.

      Ignorance be damned, better yet exploit it. And let’s all run in circles and panic! The end days are near. REPENT YEA SINNERS! REPENT!

  • rob bartsch

    Indain Point is in my backyard, so I want it closed now. It is located on an earthquake fault and is unsafe.

    • Frank D

      It was already there when you moved in wasn’t it? lol

      • Buchanan resident

        And if you live on the same side of the river, it pays a significant amount of taxes for you.

    • Steve

      If you’re that paranoid about it, move your backyard.

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