Thursday, March 20, 2008

Independent Safety Evaluation to be Conducted for the Indian Point Nuclear Plant in New York

Here are some of the details:

In an effort to provide public assurances about the operation and protection of New York's largest nuclear power facility, Entergy Nuclear today announced the start of a fully independent examination of safety, security and emergency preparedness at its Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC) in Buchanan.

The Independent Safety Evaluation (ISE) will be conducted by a distinguished independent panel of experts selected for their unique qualifications and independence of relationships with Entergy which would compromise their judgment. The ISE would supplement extensive evaluations already regularly conducted by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission through its reactor oversight process.

"Although repeated and continuous NRC assessments have concluded Indian Point is safe, we hope this independent evaluation will be another step in building public confidence in Indian Point's safety and security, and serving as a vital role in New York's energy future," said Michael Kansler, president and chief nuclear officer of Entergy Nuclear.

"We are taking the extra step of performing an independent safety evaluation to reassure the public that Indian Point is a safe and secure facility with acceptable plans in place to address an emergency."

The decision to perform an ISE came after the company listened to various constituencies and policymakers and conducted numerous focus groups in an effort to understand the concerns associated with Indian Point.

This unprecedented action includes the following elements of the ISE:

The safety elements include evaluation of:
-- Implementation of nuclear safety requirements, conservative decision making, regulatory compliance, and identification and resolution of safety problems.
-- Conduct of operations, engineering, maintenance, management, and plant material condition.

The security evaluation would include Indian Point's capability to deal with credible security events, including ones involving terrorist attacks.

The emergency preparedness evaluation includes:
-- Accident response and accident management capability.
-- Interface with and support of offsite emergency management.

A formal written report will be produced and made available to the public on a schedule to be determined by the ISE panel. The co-chairs of the panel were appointed by J. Wayne Leonard, chairman and chief executive officer of Entergy Corporation, the parent of Entergy Nuclear, with the complete understanding that they would be independent of the company and have total autonomy to conduct a thorough investigation. The members were selected by the co-chairs and will operate completely independently of the company, which will not be represented on the panel.

Entergy is funding the cost of the evaluation because the company does not believe it should be the public's responsibility to pay for an ISE through taxpayer dollars. In addition, panel selection criteria include absence of relationships with Entergy or other circumstances that could unduly influence a member's judgment on matters reviewed.

The ISE panel, which has more than 250 years of industry and academic expertise, will be co-chaired by Drs. James T. Rhodes and Neil E. Todreas.
For details on the members of the panel, go to the bottom of this page.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I find it fascinating that the ISE is being done AFTER the demise of that shining white knight who fought against all manner of corporate corruption: former Gov. Spitzer, hero to anti-nuclear Riverkeeper and its last President - RFK Jr., supporter of Hillary for US Prez, and financier of female entrepeneurs from Albany to Washington, DC. ;-) One wonders what Spitzer's relationship with anti-Indian Point Penthouse model Betcee May might have been. ;-) I just can't help myself! The more I hear about NYS politics, the happier I am that I moved 800 miles away!

Matthew66 said...

I won't have a word said against New York politicians, they're the best politicians money can buy.

Anonymous said...

Matthew66, I wrote the first comment and I have to say that you hit the nail right on the head! You made me laugh this morning!