Should Indian Point Evacuation Zone Include Lower Westchester?


Westchester legislators are pushing to extend the 10-mile evacuation zone around Indian Point, located in Buchanan, to 50 miles, reports LoHud. If the zone were expanded to 50 miles it would stretch from New York City north past Poughkeepsie. Westchester County Emergency Services Commissioner Anthony Sutton said he’s worried by the government’s use of the 50-mile zone in Japan, but still believes 10 miles is safe. Legislator Michael Kaplowitz, D-Somers, and Martin Rogowsky, D-Harrison, said they think the zone should be expanded based on findings that high radiation levels were measured 25 miles from the Fukushima plant in Japan. Indian Point spokesman Jerry Nappi said it’s too soon to consider expanding the zone.

Nuclear Energy: Rewards or Risks?

“Approach nuclear energy with respect not fear,” Dr. Neer Asherie, physicist at Yeshiva University, told attendees at a forum hosted by the Local Summit, May 17th at the Nautilus Diner in Mamaroneck. He said that nuclear energy offers both risks and rewards. A respectful, rational approach can help in sorting them out. Broadly speaking, he said, the main nuclear benefits are clean energy, no greenhouse gases, and self-sufficiency from unfriendly foreign energy suppliers. The main risk, evident from the recent Fukashima Daiichi earthquake/tsunami tragedy, is explosion and radiation.

NRC Says Indian Point Has Safety Gaps

After the nuclear disaster struck Japan in March, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission ( NRC) ordered special inspections of commercial reactors across the nation, including Indian Point, to make sure they would be prepared for emergencies caused by a combination of fires, floods, or earthquakes. On Friday, May 13, a report detailing the findings of the special inspections was released by the NRC. It showed that Indian Point has several specific safety gaps. The Journal News evaluated the NRC report on Indian Point’s emergency systems, citing the following safety gaps:

At Indian Point 2, hydrogen containment devices, which are supposed to be tested every other year, haven’t been tested for five years. Fire protection equipment in locations that are not “seismically designed,” or protected from a quake.