BUCHANAN, NY (WAMC) - Elected officials and environmentalists are united in a call for stricter supervision and tougher regulations governing the Indian Point Nuclear facility in Buchanan, New York. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
Environmental activists say the New York State Department of Environmental Protection's imposition of a $1.2 million fine on Entergy marks a new and welcome level of enforcement of public safety requirements at the Indian Point nuclear plant.
The DEC fine stems from a November 2010 transformer explosion, fire and oil spill into the Hudson River at Indian Point 2.
Manna Jo Greene, the environmental director for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, believes the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been soft when it comes to Indian Point. Meantime, New York lawmakers, led by Bronx Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, have joined environmentalists in calling for a more comprehensive evacuation plan at Indian Point - expanding the evacuation zone from 10 to 50-miles and making that plan a condition for the facility's relicensing.
Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi says the DEC fine imposed last week has led Indian Point to take positive action. Assemblywoman Rivera is calling for a State public hearing to examine evacuation and emergency preparedness in case of a radiation leak at the nuclear facility. She pointed out at a Tuesday press conference that within 5 days of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, dangerous levels of radiation had traveled 160 miles to Tokyo, prompting the US military to issue potassium Iodide pills to armed forces and their families and ordering American military ships out of Tokyo ports to avoid contamination. Jerry Nappi defends Indian Point's evacuation plan and design.
Assemblywoman Rivera has legislation pending in committee that mandates New York stockpile potassium Iodide pills and develop a detailed emergency plan for their distribution in case of a nuclear accident.
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