Protesters hold walk-a-thon, call Indian Point evacuation plan 'unsafe'

(10/19/03) YORKTOWN HEIGHTS - Protesting continues against the operation of Westchester's nuclear power plants in Buchanan. A walk-a-thon to protest the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant was held Sunday at FDR State Park in Yorktown Heights, just off Crompond Road, near the Taconic Parkway. Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition members held a rally there, highlighting what they call "an unworkable evacuation plan" for the people of Westchester if there is ever an accidental release of radiation at the plant.

About 50 people showed up at FDR State park. The protestors are walking a three-mile loop around the park because they say, "There is no safe place to run." That was the theme of the protest -- in the event of a radiation accident, the protesters say folks in Westchester could not safely evacuate. Coalition members say the emergency evacuation plan, signed by the National Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) this past summer, will not work.

A spokesperson for Entergy Corporation, who owns and runs Indian Point in Buchanan, says NRC and FEMA officials agree that the emergency plan is adequate to protect the public. Both groups have the responsibility and expertise in emergency planning at nuclear power plants. So until there is an alternative that everyone can agree upon, the electricity from Indian Point will continue to flow into Westchester's power lines.

A test of warning sirens at Indian Point is scheduled for Tuesday. One hundred fifty-four sirens in the 10-mile zone around the plant are expected to sound off at the same time. In a real emergency, the sirens would blast to alert residents to tune in to local television and radio stations for detailed information.

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