Indian Point Nuke Plant Unsecure, Lawsuit Claims

New York’s Indian Point nuclear plant has been deemed unsecure, according to a new lawsuit. The controversial plant is located in Westchester, New York.

A security lieutenant at the power complex filed the lawsuit that included allegations that Indian Point is unsecure; that staffers routinely watch DVDs, play video games, and sleep at work; and that the facility generally fails anti-terrorism drills, said The Associated Press (AP). Clifton Travis Jr.—who still works at the plant, but says his job has been marginalized over his stand about security there—filed the $1.5 billion lawsuit earlier this week in state Supreme Court. The lawsuit names Entergy, the plant owner and three managers as defendants. Indian Point is located 50 miles north of New York City, noted the AP.

Entergy said it has not yet been served. Spokesman Jim Steets said Entergy invested more than $100 million in the past decade on security and that the federal government deemed the plant secure, said the AP.

We recently wrote that the Indian Point nuclear plant was deemed the most dangerous in the United States, potentially putting drinking water supplies at risk. In fact, a disaster at Indian Point could put drinking water supplies to over 11 million people at risk, according to a report released by the advocacy group, Environment New York,. Even a minor problem could leak radioactive contaminants, impacting 11.3 million people, twice as many as any other nuclear facility in the country.

“The danger of nuclear power is too close to home. Here in New York State, the drinking water for nearly 10 million people is too close to an active nuclear power plant,” said Eric Whalen, Field Organizer with Environment New York, the group that conducted the study. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has said Indian Point Energy Center, located along the Hudson River, poses the greatest risk. With core damage possible from an earthquake estimated at 1 in 10,000 yearly, the NRC puts the risk on the verge of requiring “immediate concern regarding adequate protection” of the public.

Nyack News and Views pointed out that Indian Point is no stranger to leaks and accidental release of radioactive material. One of the site’s nuclear reactors recently had to be shut down for repairs to a pump leaking radioactive coolant. The report, entitled “Too Close to Home: Nuclear Power and the Threat to Drinking Water,” states that drinking water sources for 11.3 million people in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut resides within 50 miles of Indian Point. This distance is considered a possible impact area according to the NRC.

It would take much less than a full-out accident at Indian Point to contaminate water supplies, said Environment New York, previously. Whalen noted that common plant leaks pose a threat to drinking water supplies. Sadly, these types of leaks are becoming more and more common; about 75% of all U.S. plants see tritium leaks. Tritium, a radioactive hydrogen, is known to cause cancer and genetic defects.

A recent report stated that Indian Point and other nuclear facilities, nationwide, must reassess their vulnerability following an NRC study that revealed “an increased likelihood” of ground movement. Again, the Indian Point 3 reactor showed the greatest risk, this time for catastrophic failure in the event of a regional earthquake. Should this happen, said the Commission, the reactor is the most susceptible for core damage and exposing the public to dangerous radiation levels.

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