WHITE PLAINS, NY (CBSNewYork/AP) – An environmental group says that if the Indian Point nuclear plant suffered an accident like the one in Japan, the consequences could be worse.
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The analysis of the plant in Buchanan was released Monday. It asserts that up to 5.6 million people could be put at slightly increased risk for cancer.
The plant’s owners have said such an accident – involving an earthquake and tsunami – could not happen at the Indian Point plant.
A spokesman for Indian Point said they have measures in place to protect against natural disasters to ensure the safety of the plant and the public.
“We do have protections in place against other extreme weather-related events such as flooding, hurricanes and tornadoes that we can protect against and that we’re designed to be able to protect against the worst case that’s ever happened plus a margin above that,” Jerry Nappi said.
The Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC, analysis draws heavily on earlier studies. It says Indian Point does not have sufficient protection against earthquakes. Owner Entergy Nuclear disputes that.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is among those who want the plant shut down.
But it supplies 25 percent of the energy for Westchester County and New York City, so you can’t just turn it off.
A study by the NRDC and Riverkeeper say many options are available to replace Indian Point’s energy output.
“We have the ability to replace the Indian Point power if we want to so we do not have to live with the risks anymore,” Ashok Gupta, Director of Entergy Policy at the NRDC, told 1010 WINS. “We have the time and plenty of options in terms of renewable energy and efficiency.”
Power could be replaced by wind, solar, new transmission lines, and efficiencies at old plants.
Attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. tells WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams that Cuomo will also be looking for other proposals to replace the energy supplied by Indian Point.
“What the governor needs to do now is put in motion a process where people who have alternatives to Indian Point can come forward with their projects and we can select the ones that are the least expensive and the cleanest,” Gupta said.\
Nappi said Indian Point is safe and should not be replaced.
“There’s multiple independent inspectors who come to work here everyday who verify that Indian Point is operated safely, the federal government has indicated that Indian Point is a safe plant,” Nappi said. “When you take that all into consideration, as well as the impacts that Indian Point’s replacements would on the environment and economically, I think it becomes clear that Indian Point is an incredible resource for New York City.”
The plant’s owner is seeking 20-year extensions for licenses that expire by 2015.
Do you think Indian Point shut be shut down? If so, what should replace it? Sound off in the comments section below!
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