Is Indian Point the Beginning of the End for Nuclear Power?
As anyone who cares about the environment and lives in or near New York City is all too well aware, leaks have been discovered at the Indian Point Energy Center, located just an hour's drive from the city and a stone's throw from the communities of the Hudson Valley. One well was found to be leaking water contaminated with tritium into the groundwater at the plant, and radiation levels were measured at almost 65,000% higher than normal. While Entergy, the company that operates Indian Point, has insisted that the leak is not a danger to surrounding communities, a call to close the plant permanently has been gathering steam.
Up to 75% of US nuclear facilities have a history of leaks and other problems, and Indian Point is no exception. As far back as 2003, then-Governor George Pataki commissioned a report that concluded that the "current radiological response system and capabilities are not adequate to...protect the people from an unacceptable dose of radiation in the event of a release from Indian Point". Entergy has applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for an extension of their license, but the NRC is reviewing the request in light of the recent problems there.
Closing Indian Point would align New York State with a growing number of foreign governments that have decided to completely phase out nuclear power, including Japan, France, Austria, Spain and Germany. Is this a trend that will ultimately mean the end of nuclear power? Time will tell- Indian Point employs 1,000 workers and is responsible for about $5 billion per year in direct and indirect economic activity, so the decision to close the plant will not be an easy one. You can read more about this on the Fortune.com site here.