BUCHANAN – Protestors, grassroots organizations and local residents
living within the vicinity of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Unit
3 came together Saturday to protest the continued operation of the facility.
Indian Point Unit 3’s license was set to expire at 12 a.m. December
Protestors blocked the entrance to the facility in an effort to demonstrate
that no one should be able to enter a plant where its license expired.
However, Entergy, the company that owns and operates Indian Point, applied
for license renewal five years before its expiration which, legally, gives
the company the right to continue operations until the current relicensing
procedure, being conducted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has been
As a result of the protest, 11 demonstrators were arrested for blocking
the facility entrance.
Gary Shaw, member of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (IPSEC) who
lives within five miles of the plant, said even if Indian Point’s
license is renewed, they want it closed down indefinitely.
“We want the plant shut; the plant never should have been opened
in the first place,” he said. “Indian Point is the nuclear
plant that the NRC has defined as the nuclear plant in the United States
with the highest probability of reactor core damage from seismic activity.
Indian Point 3 is one mile from the intersection of two seismic faults.”
Shaw noted that 20 million people live within a 50 mile radius of Indian
Point Unit 3. One of New York City’s water supplies, the Kensico
Reservoir, is within 17 miles of the plant and $8.5 trillion of real estate
is located within that 50 mile radius.
Margot Shepart, also of IPSEC, said that when Indian Point’s original
license was approved, those issues were not present, but since they are
now and Indian Point is still operating under the old license stipulations,
its current operation is unacceptable.
“If this nuclear plant would not be allowed to be sited in this
location today, with the population that we have in the area, with the
roads that we have etcetera, it wouldn’t be allowed to be put in
such a densely populated area and that’s what needs to be considered,”
said Shepart. “So, that’s a crime in my mind, that they’re
operating now under their old license regulations, which sited the plant
in a place that it shouldn’t have been anyway but the population
was much less.”
The NRC is still deliberating the renewal of Indian Point’s license.
The procedure may take months, or, even years. Until then, Indian Point
Unit 3 will continue its operations.
Entergy also has its Indian Point 2 plant license renewal application
under NRC scrutiny.