Friday, August 1, 2008

Panel says Indian Point nuke 'safe' despite local concerns

Panel says Indian Point nuke 'safe' despite local concerns
Washington (Platts)--31Jul2008
The Indian Point nuclear power plant is "safe and secure but has areas
that need improvement," an independent panel concluded Thursday after
reviewing the station in response to opposition from local groups and
officials over an application to extend its operating license for 20 years.

"First, Indian Point is a safe plant," the panel said in a statement.
"Second, Indian Point's relationship with the public and officials, in
particular on matters regarding emergency preparedness, is not healthy."

The panel recommended that plant operator Entergy make continued
investments to maintain safety levels, engage in "aggressive and proactive
communication" with the community and upgrade the station's emergency response
facilities and safety equipment.

It also said that the company should follow through on its plan to
address critical staffing shortages and invest more in the aesthetics of the
plant "to visibly convey to workers and the public that Entergy is committed
to the care and protection of the station."

Entergy CEO J. Wayne Leonard in March appointed the panel's co-chairs,
who then selected 10 other panel members.

Entergy asked the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in April to renew the
operating license for Indian Point, which has two operating reactors. Indian
Point-2's license expires September 28, 2013, and Indian Point-3's expires
December 15, 2015.

Decommissioning of Indian Point-1, which has been shut since 1974, is
expected to be completed in 2020.

Several groups and county and state officials complained that a timely
evacuation would be impossible in the event of a serious accident at the
plant, about 25 miles from New York.

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