Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) outlined his concerns about the safety of the Indian Point nuclear reactor in Buchanan to Dr. Allison Macfarlane, the new Chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Dr. Macfarlane, who appeared before a joint hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittees on Energy and Power and the Environment and the Economy Tuesday, agreed to meet with Rep. Engel to discuss the relicensing of the nuclear facility's two reactors.
"I was the first member of Congress -- over a decade ago - to call for the closure of Indian Point, citing its location among millions of people, its unworkable evacuationplans, and its dismal operational history that has been plagued by irresponsible acts, unplanned shutdowns, and leaking spent fuel pools. The roads near Indian Point cannot sustain the traffic if people are forced to flee. Worse, some twenty million people live within 50 miles of Indian Point, and there is no way to safely evacuate. One of the hijacked planeson 9/11 flew over Indian Point on the way to the World Trade Center, and the relatively recent discovery that the plant is located near two seismic faults is just as alarming in the wake of the Japanese tsunami.
"I asked Dr. Macfarlane for a future meeting to discuss the re-licensing of Indian Point's two active reactors, set to retire in 2013 and 2015. She agreed, and I look forward to discussing with her the options for New York State and the Hudson Valley region. If Indian Point was presented today for construction it would never get past the first approval stages. Indian Point is a luxury we can no longer afford. It is a persistent danger to our well-being and potential target for those who wish us harm."
Rep. Engel is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Power.