Concerns about the safety of the Indian Point Energy Center, the nuclear plant closest to New York City, are not new. Nor is the government’s unwillingness to be prepared.
In 2006, the environmental group, Riverkeeper, sued the plant for failing to notify the government of a radiation leak that entered the Hudson River. Tons of highly toxic nuclear waste is still stored at the facility, an inviting target for a terrorist attack. It’s no surprise that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission still ranks Indian Point the Number 1 site in the nation in terms of potential danger to the public. And, there has been no change in the findings of a 1997 Brookhaven National Lab Report claims, which found that a nuclear emergency could cause up to 143,000 cancer deaths, cost more than $566 billion to the economy, and make an area up to 2,790 square miles around the plant uninhabitable.
Unfortunately, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission continues to argue there’s no reason for concern, even though we now know an Al Qaeda operative was able to wander around nuclear facilities in the Northeast for months.
When it comes to the safety of New York, apparently denial is still the best policy.