November 4, 2017




Indian Point shutdown plans reviewed

The countdown to closure continues

GARRISON – In preparation for the permanent shutdown of Indian Point’s two operating nuclear reactors, residents, environmental groups, elected officials and experts in the region are taking proactive steps to ensure the decommissioning process follows a just transition, is completed on time and addresses the environmental as well as economic impacts.

Concerned residents, along with a panel of experts and live-streamed interviews from individuals across the country who had lived in communities where nuclear reactors were decommissioned, Friday participated in a regional forum, primarily focused on workforce transitioning, but also on cleanup and future site use.

Having heard directly from those in plant decommissioned areas such as Illinois, Vermont, California and New Jersey, those attending the forum were given an idea of what to expect from the process and what the major impacts will most likely be.

Although Indian Point is not exactly comparable to the out-of-state former sites referenced, the panelists and testimonials from individuals who had experienced decommission processes in their areas outlined some shared incidences from Diablo Canyon in California, to Vermont Yankee in Vermont.

For Indian Point, some major concerns are how the 500-plus employees will be transitioned, having a plan for remediation of groundwater and soil contamination left behind, as well as ensuring a body of locals can be created to provide oversight of the decommissions.

Staff Attorney for Riverkeeper Michael Dulong said those concerns are a few among many.

“There are environmental concerns, public health concerns, and safety concerns, in terms of nuclear storage,” said Dulong. “How all of those are dealt with, it has to be a joint effort. You can’t deal with one of those without dealing with all of those,” he said.

As far as creating a body for community oversight, Clearwater Environmental Action Director Manna Jo Greene said they have already started to create the groundwork for a group that is planned to be called the Citizen Oversight Board.

“We have a very rough draft. When that gets polished, we’re going to submit it to [it would be state legislation], so Sandy Galef and some of the other state legislators, who we’re hoping will sponsor this and create a group that is empowered to look at decommissioning and participate in that process in as an effective way as possible,” she said.

Greene said the next steps will include waiting for input from the New York State Indian Point Closure Task Force and Indian Point Community Unity Task Force on the possible creation of a sub-committee for first development and transition, while also waiting for the study on possible energy replacement to come out. At that time, another forum is expected to be held on those issues, as well as any others that arise during the interim.


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