Westchester County to Appeal NRC’s Refusal to Change Criteria for Relicensing of Indian Point

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CEO Andy Spano Says Events of 9/11 are Being Ignored

NYFebruary 1,
— Dismayed
that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has rejected
Westchester’s request for broader criteria
when considering the relicensing of Indian Point, County Executive Andy Spano
has filed a  petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit, asking for review of the December determination of the NRC.

“We gave the NRC a
detailed petition as to why we feel its re-licensing criteria should be
updated,” Spano said. “It was summarily rejected, basically because they said
they changed the criteria in 2000 and nothing had happened since that would
cause them to revisit the issue. Did they forget September 11th ever

Spano has consistently
said that if this were Indian Point’s first license, it would be rejected due
to population density, congested road network and for safety and security
reasons based on an evacuation plan that would not be able to work in a
fast-breaking scenario as in a terrorist attack.

The county petition to
the NRC raised these and other issues and said the criteria for re-licensing
should be the same as if the plant owners were applying for the license for the
first time today. It must consider siting issues, as well as the age and the
continuous problems at the plant.

“I don’t think the
NRC ever met a nuclear plant it didn’t like. I want them to put public safety
first. It is not enough to rubber stamp a re-licensing request and then say
that, if there are indeed problems, another NRC division will deal with the
oversight,” Spano said.

Current re-licensing
guidelines for nuclear plants allow the NRC to consider only issues such as the
age of the power plants. Other issues such as local demographics, siting and
the ability to conduct an effective emergency evacuation are excluded from
consideration in renewal decisions.

“The decision not to
include these other factors is ridiculous and potentially affects the safety of
all residents in our area,” Spano said. “I will continue to do everything to
fight this. In particular, we insist that the NRC consider the appropriateness
of existing sites, not just take such sites as givens. Furthermore, we insist
that the NRC consider the current difficulties and realities when  an
emergency evacuation takes place in a dense, congested population center with
limited roadways, even though the area was not as developed when the facility
was first constructed.”

Among the questions that
the county feels are relevant are the following:

  • Could the same plant be licensed on the same site today?
  • Could a new plant, designed and built to the current standards, be licensed on the same site today?
  • Have the local societal and infrastructure factors, which influenced the licensing of the plant originally, changed in a manner that would make the plant less apt to be licensed today?
  • Have other local conditions, such as environmental regulations or population distribution, which affect the plants’ continued operation, changed?


eHeziWestchester County to Appeal NRC’s Refusal to Change Criteria for Relicensing of Indian Point

Comments 1

  1. Actually, within 5 miles of the plant (the radius of any possible impact), conditions have NOT changed since the 1960’s. The small circle around the plant has been spared the development bubble that has occurred further out, with local towns , such as Montrose, Buchanan, Verplanck, and Peekskill not getting much growth at all. (Peekskill has actually shrunk a bit).
    It is only when Mr. Spano buys into the exaggerated myth, used by activist zealots to induce fear, that the impact could be wider (it can not), only then does the clueless Spano even have an argument.
    The Witt report warns us, including Spano (and his position-writers), against exaggeration, and fear mongering in overzealous antinuclear spokespeople.
    But Spano chooses to selectively ignore this part of Witt. Why?
    His electoral survival is now based on a core 5000 vote pocket, delivered to him by the Riverkeeper mailing list.
    In a word–He has been bought. Not a big deal, but NRC sees through the situation, and courteously denies his corrupt pleading.
    Got any other issue to throw around, Andy?
    We’ve almost forgotten about you!

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