Indian Point officials grilled by WC lawmakers on safety

While Japan still struggles with the nuclear fallout caused by the massive earthquake and tsunami, state and county lawmakers say they?re increasingly uneasy about the Indian Point nuclear plant in Buchanan.

In 2010, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) ranked Indian Plant the highest-risk nuclear site in the country in terms of earthquakes and other disasters.

A day after Indian Point-owner Entergy completed its own review of safety and operations at the plant, Entergy leaders were grilled today by members of the Westchester County Board at the county office in White Plains.

The special meeting comes just as the NRC is poised to make a crucial decision on the fate of Indian Point: whether its nuclear licensing should be renewed for the next 20 years.

While some argue that the electricity Indian Point generates would be difficult to replace, Stony Point Town Supervisor William Sherwood has proposed what he calls a ?viable alternative.? He says Indian Point could be replaced with a state-of-the-art gas turbine power plant in Stony Point, where another power plant was closed in 2008.

Sherwood says his site would be a safer alternative to Indian Point, which sits just across the Hudson River. He says his site is already zoned for energy production, and could use the high-pressure gas lines and other facilities already in place from the old power plant.

Some local officials have become increasingly vocal in opposing the renewal of the Indian Point license, arguing that Indian Point?s evacuation plan only includes a 10-mile zone. Lawmakers pointed out at the meeting that Japan?s troubled nuclear reactor prompted a 50-mile radius evacuation. New York City and its millions of residents are about 25 miles from Indian Point.

While Entergy officials concede the plant could not withstand a quake on the scale of the one in Japan, they argue that it can withstand a quake as powerful as any of the ones that have been recorded in New York in the past.

Safety review coming to Indian Point nuclear power plantCuomo orders safety review of Indian Point nuclear plantJapan nuclear crisis renews questions about Indian Point

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