Worries continue about Indian Point disaster plans

Published 23 March 2006

The government disbursed more than $4 billion for bioterror defense, but states and localities chose to use much of it for other purposes; Senator Burr says this will now make it harder to get money to spend on vaccines

Top officials from the DHS met yesterday in Cortland, New York, with local elected and county officials about the area’s preparedness in the event of an emergency at Indian Point. The meeting, which was put together by Representative Sue Kelly (R-New York), was not open to the public. “It will not be a one-day cure-all for our concerns,” Kelly commented before the meeting, noting she expected a candid exchange. “But we’re hopeful it will be a positive step toward (Federal Emergency Management Agency) officials better understanding our doubts about the plans, and it will give them the opportunity to justify their reasoning to us.” Officials from Entergy Nuclear Northeast, which owns Indian Point, attended the meeting.

Kelly was expected to focus on the Witt report, an $800,000 state-commissioned analysis of emergency evacuation plans. The report, by former FEMA head James Lee Witt, found gaps in the region’s preparedness for an incident at Indian Point. It also noted the failure to take into consideration terrorism or to include the possibility that the public might not follow officials’ orders.

Critics charge that an accident or a terrorist attack would cause Indian Point to become what they call”Chernobyl on the Hudson.”

-read more in this report; for criticism of the plant, see this Riverkeeper Web site