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Common Misconceptions Indian Point and Fukushima

thumbs down over IPMisconception:

It can’t happen here.  We can’t have a tsunami here or a 9.0 earthquake.  The plant is high above the river and built on bedrock. It is absurd to make a comparison.  Besides, the reactors at Fukushima were a different type than Indian Point.

Short Response

No one is talking about tsunamis in New York or New Jersey or different types of reactors.  That is not relevant. We are talking high level radioactive waste at Indian Point.  More of it is stored there than there was in all of the spent fuel pools in Fukushima. This waste is stored in commercial buildings like K Mart, not in a hardened building like the reactor. The Union of Concerned Scientists recommends dry cask storage because the current system is so dangerous.


There have been a lot of advances in the field of seismology since the plant was built 40 years ago. Scientists at Lamont Dougherty Earth Institute are concerned enough to raise questions. The NRC studied the results of the recent Virginia earthquake and found the results much more severe than anticipated .Fukushima now has a 12 mile exclusion zone. Those who lived there wil never be able to go home again. It would be much larger here given the amount of spent fuel.  Is it worth the risk to life, property and the environment?


Personal Testimony


I work there. (or my husband, son, grandson, nephew, neighbor works there).  I live in the community and have raised my family here. I would not work at the plant if it was not safe.  I would never put my family in jeopardy. Therefore the plant is safe.

Short response

People work at dangerous jobs all of the time.  It does not mean that the workplace is safe only that they have chosen to accept or ignore the risk. Look at our firefighters and police officers or uranium miners for that matter. In the case of Indian Point it is more than a personal decision. Indian Point affects the lives and property of 21 million people in a 50 mile radius of the plant.  We need to look at the scientific evidence and listen to impartial experts in a case like this. Not what the company tells its employees who have such a strong vested interest in the status quo.

Special Note

There is time for people to plan ahead and Local 1-2 representatives have stated that members would be transferred to another nuclear power plant. The operating licenses of Unit 2 and 3 do not expire until 2013 and 2015 and decommissioning will require expert workers. Entergy laid off a thousand people when they combined operations for Unit 2 and 3. It is a fact of life that businesses in any community can and do close for many different reasons.    


Electricity Replacement 


If Indian closes we would have no other sources for electricity except coal and diesel fired plants. That would mean a lot more greenhouse gases and pollution that would disproportionately affect minority communities that are already dealing with high rates of asthma.  

Short response

The generation of electricity is a big business which is regulated by the Independent Systems Operator.  They vet all electricity providers and report a line of producers ready to step forward and fill in any gaps that develop. A cable under the Hudson River from NJ has already been approved.  It will carry 500MW.  An additional 3,600MW is under construction and will come on line by 2016. A cable from Canada running the length of the state is currently under negotiation.  Demand for electricity is sluggish, and not growing nearly as fast as predicted. While this is partly due to the recession, it is also due to increased conservation and efficiency measures as businesses strive to cut costs and use less electricity for the same amount of work. NYC is already required to generate 80% of its power needs, so little change will happen there.   


Electricity Production


Indian Point supplies 30% of the electricity for our region.  Without the 2,000MW of electricity from Indian Point the lights would go off and the subways would stop running.  It is vital to our economy and without it the price of electricity would skyrocket.

Short response

How on earth do you figure 30%?  The math just doesn't add up. We are not talking about 2,000MW’s of electricity that the plant can produce. We are only talking about what is used in the Westchester/New York City grid, 360MW.  How many people pay thieir electricity bill to Entergy, the company that owns Indian Point?  Nobody! Con Ed delivers all of the electricity in this grid and in their Annual Report from 2010 that is what they reported delivering from Indian Point, 360MW. Not a big deal out of the 11,000MW the grid might require on a typical day and certainly not 30% of what is used. The reactors go off line all the time, sometimes planned and sometimes not, and nobody even notices. Electricity is a commodity in a deregulated market which is quite healthy with a lot of providers. If your electricity is not delivered by Con Ed you get no electricity from Indian Point at all – 0MW’s.


Indian Point and the Hudson River


The Hudson river has never been healthier.  Striped bass are thriving and the crabs love the warm water by plant.  Just look at it – it is beautiful and clean.

The short response

It is hard to see what goes on beneath the water. The plant is in violation of the Clean Water Act because it kills more than 300 Billion fish per year and has altered the ecology of the River. The fact is that 13 native species are threatened and the short nosed and Atlantic sturgeon are endangered. Entergy is the largest user of water in all of NY State and is the most destructive of all commercial sites on the Hudson River. The thermal plume from the discharge pipe kills another half Billion fish annually. The state has ordered them to put in a radiator-type cooling system that eliminates water usage and fish kills by 95%. They are appealing this decision and are promoting a different system called Wedge Wire which does nothing for thermal pollution and is not approved for a fast moving river like the Hudson.

Special Note

In 2009 Entergy went to the US Supreme Court to prove that Wedge Wire should never be used at a nuclear power plant and won. Nothing has changed since then except that they are now being required to put in a better system at more cost and now conveniently choose to ignore what they previously litigated.



Cooling towers are an unnecessary expense and would mean shutting down both reactors, eliminating hundreds of part time union jobs, and causing electricity costs to skyrocket.

The short response

The DEC did not order Entergy to build cooling towers, the most expensive form of closed cycle cooling. They ordered radiator type systems like the ones Entergy has at Vermont Yankee and Fitzpatrick. If Entergy chooses the more expensive towers, however, it would represent less than 5% of their projected $22 Billion profit and employ 5,300 workers for five years – instead of just several hundred for a 30-day refueling period every 18 months. It would be the largest most sustained construction project in the county in decades.


Nuclear power in other countries


What about France? They get most of their electricity from nuclear power and they don’t have any problems.

The short response

We are talking about Indian Point.  Not about what happens in France.  And, by the way, they face the same problems with their reactors as we do.  You just don’t hear about it because the French government owns the reactors in that country and they have an official secrets act that makes it illegal  to publish information about their nuclear program.  Activists and journalists are arrested in France and have had their computers seized.  Is that what you want here? And by the way, the leading candidate in their forth coming election is campaigning on a platform to reduce their reliance on  nuclear power by a third.

Make 'Forward on Climate' the largest climate rally in history

stop pipeline

At 12 Noon on Sunday, February 17, thousands of Americans will head to Washington, D.C. to make Forward on Climate the largest climate rally in history. Join this historic event to make your voice heard and help the president start his second term with strong climate action.

Crippling drought. Devastating wildfires. Superstorm Sandy. Climate has come home – and the American people get it.

The first step to putting our country on the path to addressing the climate crisis is for President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. His legacy as president will rest squarely on his response, resolve, and leadership in solving the climate crisis.


When: February 17th, at 12 Noon
Where: The National Mall, Washington D.C.
Who: 350.org, The Sierra Club and the Hip-Hop Caucus

Why: To tell Barack Obama it's time to lead in the fight against climate change, beginning with the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

For more information about rides, housing and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, visit http://forwardonclimate.org

Read more: 350.org

Hudson River Park Trust Sued Over Pipeline

wednesday-final-NJ-NY-gas-pipelineHudson River Park Trust Sued Over Pipeline Posted on September 9, 2012 As reported in The Daily News, Sane Energy Project was joined by 5 enviro and community groups in seeking an emergency restraining order to halt construction of the Spectra pipeline. Petitioners include Food and Water Watch, NYC Friends of Clearwater, NYH20, Village Independent Democrats, United for Action, and several residents of the West Village. The suit maintains that the HRPT violated the terms of its charter and several environmental regulations by granting an easement to Spectra Energy for the Gansevoort Peninsula. Construction on the peninsula continues as petitioners await a ruling on the case, due on Sept 18th. Petitioners are represented by Jeff Zimmerman, a noted environmental rights lawyer and one of the few who have won a case against FERC; Richard Lippes, an environmental lawyer who frequently represents the Sierra Club; and Yetta Kurland, renown civil rights lawyer, activist, and West Village resident. Frieda Bradlow, a member of Village Independent Democrats’ committee, on behalf of her organization said, “From our first information concerning the pipeline we considered it an environmental and safety disaster for our park and our neighborhood.” Ynestra King, a plaintiff and member of Sane Energy Project, said, “Having the [Hudson River Park] nearby has enlarged my world, losing it, even temporarily, would be a real tragedy.” Ms. King is disabled, and counts on the pedestrian path running parallel to the Hudson River Park for a safe and reliable alternative to riding her wheelchair on the congested and comparatively much-less safer streets of New York City. This week, since the construction has closed off the better part of the pedestrian pathway, Ms. King has been forced to travel in the bike path, along with bikers and walkers. Owen Crowley, a board member of organizational plaintiff, United for Action, stated, “We represent people who are concerned about the environment and the sustainability of their future. Our members who live around Gansevoort are exposed to a risk of explosion as well as, along with the rest of the City, the harmful effects of radon exposure.” Clare Donohue, a founding member of plaintiff Sane Energy Project, an organization that has been adamant in its opposition to the pipeline stated that her organization “was pursuing this litigation on behalf of the nearly 5000 people who filed public comments in opposition to the project.” She pointed out that only 22 people filed public comments in favor of the pipeline, all but one of whom stand to benefit financially from the project. As for Food and Water Watch, Scott Edwards, the group’s Co-director of Food and Water Justice, said, “Fracking is only allowed to exist because the industry has bought exemptions to virtually any federal public health and safety law that has the words ‘safe,’ ‘clean,’ ‘conservation’ or ‘environmental’ in it. Food and Water Watch is challenging this pipeline in court because our government is failing to protect our communities from the inherently harmful impacts of this irresponsible industry practice.” Donna Stein of NYC Friends of Clearwater believes that, “Spectra Pipeline represents the worst of corporate negligence towards the rights of citizens. The citizenry has not been informed of the major risks associated with such a pipeline – no valid environmental impact study has been performed and the citizenry has not been informed of the major risks of fracking to our drinking water, our land, our air.” Joe Levine, director of NYH20, on behalf of his organization stated, “We believe that bringing radon into New York City is a public health hazard and should be stopped immediately.”

Fractivists Take Actions Against Fracking and Cuomo!

First up: A Weekend of Workshops 8/25 & 8/26

village7n-1-webTwo days of interactive panels, strategy sessions, NVDA training, hosted by activist leaders from all over the state. More than 200 expected to attend. HIGHLIGHTS: Saturday @ 1:30, Building Affinity--How to Activate Our Allies, with Iris Bloom, Larry Bennett, David Braun, Laurie Spaeth, Reverend Sam Trumbore, and Green Umbrella. Saturday @ 3:45, Fighting for Local Control--Democracy from the Ground Up, with Kelly Branigan, Toshia Hance, Isaac Silberman-Gorn, and others. Sunday @ 10:45, Mapping the Industry outlines areas targeted by drillers, with Mary Finneran, Lou Allstadt, Martha Cameron, and more. Sunday @ 1:30, Finding Tactics that Work, with Dave Publow and Occupy friends. Check the complete schedule (subject to change).

Remember this? How much fun did we have last December, at the DEC hearings in NYC, reciting a promise to Governor Cuomo that we wouldn't allow fracking in New York? This is going to be even more fun:

This time, Sandra Steingraber will lead us as we recite the Pledge to Resist Fracking, in unison, at the Capitol in Albany, out loud. REAL LOUD. Don't miss this.

Speakers will include: Bill McKibbon, Josh Fox, Al Appleton, Tony Avella, Sandra Steingraber, Helen Slottje, Debra Winger, and grassroots leaders from affected areas such as Ruth Young, Bill Feldman, Pramilla Valley, Maya Van Rossum, and many others. Street theater and mock actions are planned along the route, which includes a stop at our favorite government agency, the DEC.

THIS IS IT. This is when we all need to show up and explain to Cuomo that we won't allow fracking ANYWHERE in New York State, that we won't allow any "test cases," that we're not going to fall for "sacrifice zones." We're in this together. And we need to all be there, together.

Get all the info on buses, parking, etc at Don't Frack New York.

Start the action before the action! Local activists have initiated the No Frack Caravan! No matter where you're starting from, join up all along the route to Albany: Fracktivists from all corners of the state will decorate their vehicles with signs and banners, and form a joyous, colorful and noisy parade into Albany to announce their arrival! The caravan will grow as it proceeds along Route 20, I-88 and the Thruway! Get the details on where to join in here. Plan to arrive in Albany in time for the 11am Rally, and leave extra travel time to really enjoy the caravan!

Start the day at the Hudson River in Albany--End the day at the Hudson River in NYC! Celebrate our statewide solidarity with a party hosted by NYC Friends of Clearwater, at Pier 66M / the Frying Pan (Hudson River at 26th Street). After the bus ride home (which lets off just blocks away), we'll join NYCFC's aptly-timed Water Festival, with performances by Joel Landy, Ray Korona, Jenny Hurwitz, The NYC Metro Raging Grannies, Alex Greenleaf, Russell Daisey, Peter Pasco and others, plus the Peoples Puppets of OWS! "Connect the Dots" is the theme. Speakers will address the connections between pipelines, hydrofracking, coal, Indian Point, and climate change. Connecting with the successes of the past is important too and the heroes of the Westway and Shoreham actions will be there also. Ken Gale, host of WBAI's Eco-Logic, moderates.

OK, so we're ready! Is Cuomo Ready? Yeah, probably, he's been hearing from us a lot lately . . .

Pledge to Stop Fracking in New York State

Click to sign the Pledge

Together, we will take a pledge of resistance to hydrofracking in the state. The Pledge to Resist Fracking in New York.

I believe:

  • that high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracking is an accident-prone, inherently dangerous industrial process with risks that include catastrophic and irremediable environmental damage;
  • that these risks cannot be properly resolved, nor can they be mitigated through regulation by any government agency, let alone one that has colluded with the gas industry over the last four years in creating rules that attempt to regulate fracking;
  • that Governor Cuomo and this agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation, have repeatedly turned a deaf ear to the petitions of New York’s scientists, economists, medical professionals, and ordinary citizens who have tried again and again, for four years and to little avail, to alert the agency and Governor Cuomo to the many dangers that hydraulic fracking poses to our health, safety, property values, peace of mind and to the climate itself;
  • that it is wrong to shatter the bedrock of New York State and inject it with toxic chemicals.


If Governor Cuomo permits high-volume, horizontal hydraulic fracking in any part of New York State, I pledge to join with others to engage in non-violent acts of protest, including demonstrations and other non-violent actions, as my conscience leads me.

I make this pledge in order to prevent the destruction and poisoning of New York’s water, air, and food systems, on which life, health, and economic prosperity all depend–including that of future generations.

Sign the Pledge: http://www.dontfrackny.org/pledge

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