Actor Alec Baldwin hosted a panel Friday evening in Rockland County on the Indian Point nuclear power plant. A state assemblywoman and the president of an environmental group were among those on the panel, calling for the shutdown of Indian Point.
The panel discussion, “Driving Without a License: Indian Point at the Crossroads,” was presented by the nonprofit Radiation and Public Health Project, with which Alec Baldwin has been connected for some time. However, Baldwin says this marks his first activist role specifically pertaining to Westchester-based Indian Point.
Though Indian Point Two’s license expired September 28, the reactor will continue to operate until the Nuclear Regulatory Commission renders a decision, which is not expected for several months given the ongoing case review. Paul Gallay is president of Riverkeeper.
Gallay, who was a speaker on the panel at Rockland Community College, says having Baldwin calling for the shutdown of Indian Point lends a strong voice.
Paul Steidler disagrees. He is spokesman for New York AREA, or Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance, of which Indian Point parent Entergy is a member.
Democratic Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee was also a panel member.
She says the Assembly has passed her bill but she cannot find traction in the Senate.
Joseph Mangano is executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project. He is introducing a citizen monitoring program.
Mangano put out a report in 2009 pointing to higher incidences of cancer, particularly thyroid cancer, in areas surrounding Indian Point. New York AREA’s Steidler says many scientists and government health agencies have looked at the issue of potential radiation exposure from nuclear power plants and find no negative health impact.
That’s John Kelly. He is retired from Entergy, having served as director of licensing for Entergy’s Northeast Operations. He was also radiation protection manager.
As for Baldwin’s next step with it comes to Indian point, he told WAMC:
Governor Andrew Cuomo has come out in favor of closing Indian Point.
The license for Indian Point 3 expires in December 2015.