The Rockland County Legislature approved a resolution opposing the application submitted by Entergy to renew its license to operate the Indian Point nuclear power plant. In its resolution, legislators outlined numerous issues the plant has faced and the many reasons the plant’s license should not be renewed.
The recent transformer fire at Indian Point 3, and the fact that such fires have been occurring more frequently in recent years, pose a major threat to residents living nearby, including Rockland County. The plant is also located on two fault lines, poses a daily risk of a meltdown or catastrophic fire, and has unsafe spent nuclear fuel pools.
“Standards for relicensing nuclear power plants appear to be less stringent than in licensing new plants—at least with regard to the health of transformers,” said Legislator Harriet Cornell who formerly chaired a Citizens’ Commission to Close Indian Point. “A meltdown or radiological fire would be a catastrophe causing deaths and millions of cases of chronic sickness over time. In this case the transformer fire led to an unacceptable dielectic fluid spill into the Hudson flowing west to Rockland’s shores. The NRC is supposed to protect the public, and Rockland’s public has been speaking out on behalf of public safety for more than three decades,” she said.
The legislature’s resolution will be submitted to the United States Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and other officials. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will rule on Indian Point’s license renewal later this year.
“The Indian Point nuclear power plant should be closed, especially given its proximity to high population areas,” said Legislator Nancy Low-Hogan. “Indian Point 2 is currently operating without a license. Since the license for Indian Point 3 expires this December, I feel very strongly that the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission must include an evaluation of Indian Point’s transformers, seismic conditions and evacuation plans, before granting licensure renewal. The stakes are too high not to do so.”