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NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a petition with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) urging it to take action against Indian Point for its failure to comply with fire safety regulations.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey and Congressman Eliot Engel are calling on the House Energy and Commerce Committee to hold hearings on the licensing of what they are calling "High risk nuclear facilities" such as Indian Point, which are located in densely populated areas.
Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said, "It is time for the NRC to realize that natural disasters and terrorism are all too real. Because of its location it is too inviting a target." He also expressed deep concerns that the plants are built along the Ramapo fault.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has promised to make Indian Point its first and top priority in its review of seismic risks at 27 nuclear power plants throughout the country.
Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and Director of State Operations, Howard Glaser met today at NRC headquarters in Maryland with top NRC officials on the issue of safety regarding the Buchanan nuclear power plants.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino says he and other County officials, including Commissioner of Emergency Services, Anthony Sutton, are on top of the latest happenings in Japan following last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Authorities, he says, have also been in constant touch with Entergy, the company that owns and operates Indian Point, as well as repesentatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Nuclear Regulatory Commision(NRC), the State Office of Emergency Management and the County's congressional delegation.
The County Executive warned that while it is important to follow the unfolding nuclear crisis in Japan, it's equally important not to rush to judgement concerning Indian Point. "With regard to Indian Point, it is always safety first. The most important thing we can do right now is gather the facts and do it in a steady,comprehensive way so that we have the best information possible available to us," said Astorino.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland) today called on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to re-evaluate the Indian Point Nuclear Facility in Buchanan for all possible threats including terrorism and natural disasters as well as safety and evacuation procedures in determining the re-licensing of the plants. Indian Point is currently awaiting approval for its two plants, whose licensing expires in 2013 and 2015. Their application is still under review and hearings for a 20 year license extension are not expected to begin until next year.
Lowey has penned a letter to NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko which is attached verbatim below:
Dear Chairman Jaczko:
The tragedy in Japan and the threat of meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station shine a new light on the need for the heightened evaluation of nuclear power plants within high-population areas. Following the Japan tragedy, it is imperative that the NRC evaluate all possible threats, including terrorism, natural disasters, and the challenges that must be met in developing safety standards and evacuation procedures while determining the re-licensing of the Indian Point Nuclear Facility in Buchanan, New York.
Entergy Corporation, the parent company of the Indian Point nuclear power plants in Buchanan, today released a statement about the recent events in Japan.
As nuclear fears persist in Japan following a massive earthquake and devastating tsunami, some Westchester residents have been questioning whether or not such a thing could happen here.
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