Press Conference With Nuclear Experts and Celebrities On Dangers of Including Nuclear Plants in New York’s Clean Energy Standard

WHAT?  On June 7th, nuclear experts, celebrities and citizens’ groups advocating closure of Indian Point will hold a press conference in Manhattan to flag the imminent danger of the State giving large public subsidies to New York’s nuclear industry by including it in its Clean Energy Standard.

The press conference will take place on the eve of a June 8th Indian Point Annual Assessment meeting in Westchester, where citizens’ groups will demand shutdown and full assessment of both Indian Point reactors and oppose the restart of Indian Point 2, which is currently offline.  The owner Entergy wants to restart it this month after a perfunctory inspection, which found yet more failing bolts, so it can profit from summer demand.

WHO?  The following experts, celebrities, and advocates will participate in the June 7 press conference:

  • David Freeman, nuclear expert, engineer, attorney, former head of the New York Power Authority and other nuclear utilities, and senior adviser to Friends of the Earth’s nuclear campaign.
  • Paul Gallay, Executive Director, Riverkeeper
  • Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Action Director, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
  • Tim Judson, Executive Director, Nuclear Information and Resource Service
  • Joe Mangano, Executive Director, Radiation and Public Health Project
  • Christie Brinkley, supermodel, actress, concerned New Yorker and opponent of the continued operation of Indian Point

WHERE & WHEN?  The press conference will be held on Tuesday, June 7, 10:45am at Rosa Mexicana, 61 Columbus Avenue at 62nd Street, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  Journalists and bloggers are invited to attend and cover.  Side interviews are available on request.  For more information or to arrange a side interview, please contact Stephen Kent, skent@kentcom.com  914-589-5988.

WHY?  Indian Point has outlived its 40-year design lifespan and operating licenses, and has cascading problems including:

  • seven unplanned/emergency shutdowns in the past year;
  • spiking concentrations of radioactivity leaking into groundwater and the Hudson;
  • unfortified, leaking fuel pools that are among the highest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet (roughly triple Fukushima’s);
  • corrosive, radioactive “rain” falling inside the IP-2 reactor building; and
  • 227 missing or damaged bolts that are supposed to hold baffle-former plates inside the reactor to channel coolant. That’s a globally unprecedented 27% failure rate (other plants that have detected similar problems typically have a 1 – 3% failure rate), indicating significant meltdown risk, and likely deterioration of other critical components.  David Lochbaum, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Nuclear Safety Program, warns of a possible “zipper effect” whereby if the reactor is restarted, embrittlement and corrosion could lead to a broken pipe and differential pressure on the plates, causing weakened bolts to pop open like a zipper and the reactor cooling mechanism to fail.  There is also danger that if the reactor is restarted, replacement bolts already installed could crack the plates, which may themselves be compromised.

If it passes in its current form, the Clean Energy Standard would make nuclear power a “preferred polluter,” and the most heavily subsidized power source in the state.  The estimated $3.5 billion cost would be borne by ratepayers.  While Indian Point is currently excluded from the plan on the grounds it is profitable, Entergy intends to appeal the exclusion, and legal experts say it has a strong case for doing so. Entergy says it fully expects to be subsidized through the Clean Energy Standard.

This Manhattan press conference is sponsored by national and regional groups including:  Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Coalition Against Nukes, Radiation and Public Health Project, Beyond Nuclear, the Atlantic Sierra Club Chapter and the Lower Hudson Group of the Sierra Club.

Contact:  Stephen Kent, skent@kentcom.com 914-589-5988

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