NRC Grades Indian Point; Plant Opponents Grade The NRC

May 14, 2013

Clearwater Executive Director Jeff Rumpf
Credit WAMC/Allison Dunne

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is holding a public meeting and open house this evening to discuss the Commission’s recent safety assessment of the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester County. Earlier today, Indian Point opponents issued their own report card, grading the NRC.

A number of leaders of environmental and citizens’ groups stood near the Hudson River in Peekskill Tuesday, with the Indian Point power plant reactors in the background. Former Democratic New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky was among them.

They were there to issue an overall failing grade to the NRC in a number of areas, including evacuation planning, nuclear waste storage, fire protection, and communication with the public. They are calling on the NRC to deny license renewals for the two reactors, urging that Indian Point be closed. Here’s Jeff Rumpf, executive director of environmental group Clearwater.

The license for Indian Point Two is due for renewal in September, but the plant will continue to operate until the NRC makes a decision, which could be at least one year away, given that there are more hearings to be held. The license renewal for Indian Point Three is due in 2015. Clearwater’s Rumpf believes now is the time to get the NRC’s ear.

Jerry Nappi is a spokesman for Indian Point parent Entergy Nuclear Northeast.

Richard Brodsky says it comes down to money.

Brodsky, an attorney and senior fellow at think tank Demos, has been involved in a case against the NRC involving safety exemptions at Indian Point.

The report card comes as NRC staff open the doors to the public Tuesday evening in Westchester to discuss the NRC’s recently issued safety assessment of Indian Point. The NRC issued a so-called green rating, and NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan disagrees with the environmental and citizens’ groups’ report card.

Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel wants Indian Point closed too. He says he was the first member of Congress to call for the plant’s closure, and a spokesman for Engel was on hand to reiterate the Congressman’s call to shut down the plant.