Attorney General Raises Public Health and Safety Concerns
In Opposing Indian Point Relicensing Application
Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said today he opposes relicensing two Indian Point nuclear reactors in Buchanan, N.Y. until a thorough and complete investigation is made of environmental impacts from continuing their operation for 20 years, including spent fuel storage, the potential threat to public drinking water supplies and relocating large numbers of people in the event of an accident.
The Attorney General raised significant public health and safety concerns for the residents of Connecticut in his written comments submitted to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, where the relicensing application Indian Point Units 2 and 3 is under review. The facility is owned by Entergy Nuclear Northeast.
“An accident or attack at Indian Point that resulted in a release of radioisotopes could result in a major plume of wind-driven radioactive debris that would immediately impact human health and safety in Connecticut,” Attorney General Jepsen wrote.
“There is no federal first response organization or system in place to address a major incident or release at Indian Point… State and local officials will be the ones to respond in an emergency and the full financial burden of both responding to the initial incident, and to any evacuation and resettlement of displaced persons, will fall on state and local budgets,” Jepsen wrote.
Approximately one-third of Connecticut’s population, including Litchfield and Fairfield counties and Bridgeport, the state’s largest city, are within a 50-mile radius of the plant, which is the “ingestion pathway” emergency planning zone. Important surface water resources are also located within this zone, including major river systems and numerous lakes and reservoirs of public importance.
Jepsen said that continued operation of the plants would “result in the accumulation of two more decades’ worth of spent nuclear fuel at a facility that is already overloaded.” Without a federal long-term storage facility, the spent fuel will remain on site indefinitely. “The environmental consequences of this result in the post-operating period have never been analyzed,” Jepsen wrote.
“The NRC is obligated by law to complete a thorough and accurate environmental analysis of potential impacts of relicensing of Indian Point and to take a ‘hard look’ at these adverse impacts before approving an extension of the operating license…If the NRC cannot ensure full evaluations and safe solutions to all of these problems, then it cannot relicense this facility,” Jepsen wrote.
Assistant Attorney General Robert Snook is handling this matter for the Attorney General with Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Massicotte, head of the Environment unit and Associate Attorney General Joseph Rubin.