Thursday, March 27, 2008

Riverkeeper Doesn't Like Indian Point's Independent Safety Evaluation

Well, what's new? I didn't catch this until yesterday, but shortly after Entergy announced an independent safety evaluation will be done for Indian Point, Riverkeeper was quick to dismiss the study. Here's Riverkeeper:

An independent safety assessment is not an assessment contracted and paid for by the company needing an assessment.
If the Nuclear Regulatory Commission conducts the safety assessment, Entergy would still have to pay for it. Anytime a plant is under increased scrutiny by the NRC, the plant is billed for those extra hours. Riverkeeper:
There are times when the federal government needs to step in and put taxpayers’ dollars to work for the sake of public health and safety.
It is not taxpayers' dollars at work here. As said above, Entergy would still end up paying for the study. Riverkeeper:
A true Independent Safety Assessment should be overseen by federal and state regulators and include a citizen advisory panel.
There are ten experts on Entergy's ISE panel. Two of the experts, Brockman and Kane, worked for the NRC. Kane was actually the NRC's Executive Director of Operations (the EDO is one of the highest positions in the NRC without being appointed as a commissioner). Two other experts, Rhodes and Galbraith, worked for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations - the nuclear industry's version of the NRC. One expert, Helmer, was a former chair of the New York State Public Service Commission. Another expert, Todreas, has been a nuclear science and engineering professor with MIT for 38 years. Another expert, Dyson, was appointed chairman of the New York Power Authority. And three panelists, Vonk, Stevens and McCombs, have expertise in emergency preparedness. I don't know Riverkeeper's definition but it looks like the panel is made up of former "federal and state regulators" and a "citizen advisory panel." Riverkeeper:
If Entergy were truly concerned about taxpayer dollars, it would cover the full costs of emergency planning and leave regulating and nuclear oversight to government agencies charged with protecting public health and safety.
The NRC is still the regulator of Indian Point. Here's Entergy's explanation of that issue:
The ISE would supplement extensive evaluations already regularly conducted by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission through its reactor oversight process.
Riverkeeper's complaints about the ISE are baseless. If they actually had read Entergy's release, they would have seen that their complaints are being addressed. It is clear Riverkeeper has an agenda and nothing will please them.

Update
Two more members were just added to the panel:
The final additions are T. Gary Broughton, former Chief Executive Officer of GPU Nuclear, and Clayton "Scotty" Hinnant, former Chief Nuclear Officer (CNO) for Progress Energy. Both bring to the panel considerable experience and a reputation for independent and thorough knowledge of the issues in the nuclear power industry.
Congressman John Hall is unimpressed.

6 comments:

Joffan said...

I guess Riverkeeper just can't take "Yes" for an answer. They don't know how to do anything but complain.

Maybe they thought that they would be conducting the ISE.

Anonymous said...

I think Entergy should just shut down IP and see what New York thinks about that once they have to start paying for other energy sources. Entergy could make a KILLING off that real estate. It would just be bad press for the company and the industry that some protestors managed to shut them down.

Of course, electric rates would just soar then and the people of the state would be asking the federal government to step in and do something with all those "taxpayer dollars" (aka my money).

Anonymous said...

Shut down IP? That might make a bundle for Entergy in real estate development, but what happens to all of the very fine, talented people who work there and have devoted their lives to making IPEC a productive, safe, environmentally friendly, economic source of energy for millions of people over the last several decades? We can't just toss them overboard for the sake of a few anti-nuclear nutjobs who'd likely sell their own mothers to make a deal to shut down a nuclear plant? We don't throw good people to the wolves in this business.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't being serious about really shutting down IPEC. I would hope doing that would get their attention, but most likely not. I have no doubt though that Entergy would make the best business decision, regardless of the people, with the cover of "here are 600 open jobs in the company; relocate".

Anonymous said...

A shutdown no, but how about a little strike? How about a couple of weeks for NY without IP?

:>

Anonymous said...

My ex-wife's cousin is a corporate lawyer who lives in Long Island. I have talked with him about nuclear power and the adverse impact that the decommissioning of Shoreham has had on Long Island electric rates and security of electric supply. He maintains that such conditions are well worth being without nuclear power. No matter what I said, I could never convince this otherwise very well educated and erudite man of the folly of Long Island's opposition to Shoreham. It didn't matter. Anti-nuclearism was as set as a religion within this man's soul. The same is true of many of the people in Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam Counties surrounding IPEC. Also, Andrew Cuomo, the NYS Attorney General fighting against IPEC, is the son of former governor Mario Cuomo who shut Shoreham down. Andy only wants to continue Mario's work. The only reason Mario didn't shut IPEC down when he had the power was that the New York Power Authority - his state agency - owned IP3 and Con Ed owned IP2. He wouldn't have been able to maintain NYPA revenue without IP3.

Now remember: New Yorkers are the kind of people who elected into office Mario Cuomo, Andy Cuomo, Elliot Spitzer and Hillary Clinton. They deserve what they get. I saw the light and moved 800 miles away, but I'm afraid that still isn't far enough. ;-)