Monday, December 10, 2007

When it Comes to Indian Point, Think Before You Leap

As we're all aware, a bevy of local and state politicians in New York have jumped on the anti-Indian Point bandwagon. But for Westchester County resident Peter Applebome, the answers to questions about energy and the environment aren't so obvious:

[C]losing Indian Point raises its share of vexing questions.

For starters: Is New York prepared to increase carbon emissions and perhaps flunk its goals under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to close Indian Point? In whose neighborhoods in Westchester or Rockland Counties is it prepared to build the power plants that would replace it? Is the possibility of more expensive and less reliable electricity an acceptable trade-off for not having to worry about Indian Point? If Indian Point poses an unacceptable risk, shouldn’t the dozens of nuclear plants in metropolitan areas around the country and the world close as well? And we’re comfortable with those carbon trade-offs too?

In the end, they come down to this: Do the forever-green, antinuke politics of the 1970s hold up in the global warming era of 2007? Think before you answer.
Can it actually be that somebody is thinking about this question like an adult for a change?
As it is, we don’t want windmills off Long Island, and we don’t want the proposed Broadwater floating natural gas plant in Long Island Sound. We almost certainly don’t want a tunnel under the Sound. We don’t want Indian Point, and we sure as heck wouldn’t want a substantial plant to replace it. We want our bloated S.U.V.s and Hummers and the energy-hogging McMansions that the banks haven’t taken back. yet.

Maybe Santa is out there 365 days a year, and maybe we can turn all of Wyoming into a windmill farm that will solve everyone’s problems. Or maybe getting to a sane energy future is a lot more complicated than scaring people to death about Indian Point.
Wow. Read the rest right now.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jim Muckerheide's response to my comment on this at Yahoo's Know_Nukes forum is so true:
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Know_Nukes/message/21002

"New Yorkers. What can you expect? One of the few places where the people are actually dumber than the politicians."

donb said...

Gee, how about a practice run in shutting down Indian Point? Keep the plant running, but run the following exercise:

Step 1: Determine the amount of CO2 that would be generated by replacing Indian Point with a conventional plant firing (to be generous) natural gas.

Step 2: Set some CO2 limits.

Step 3: Determine the amount of CO2 generated by other fossile-fuel power plants. Add the CO2 from the proposed Indian Point replacment from Step 1.

Step 4: When the total CO2 from Step 3 starts to exceed the CO2 limits, start rolling blackouts to limit CO2 from fossile fuel-powered generating plants.

Step 5: At that point, ask the residents of the area if they think Indian Point should be shut down.