Buchanan New York, Chernobyl, Chernobyl on the Hudson, diaspora, dry casks, emergency planning, Entergy, environment, evacuation, evacuation zones, Holtec, Indian Point Nuclear Power Station, major hazard management, New York City, New York economy, nuclear dangers, nuclear spent fuel storage, nuclear waste, Westchester County
Alongside the better known old, defective, Indian Point nuclear power station near New York City lurks a lesser known menace.
“You’ve seen the narrow one-lane Route 9 that serves two lanes of traffic and serves as the main evacuation route for so many who live and work around Indian Point. You’ve seen the traffic congestion in off-hours and the dangerous roads that lead across Bear Mountain Bridge. You’ve seen that the lines on the map really are not lots of roads, but small country lanes leading to nowhere… So, we ask that you take our concerns about the proposed dry cask storage system very seriously. In today’s environment, a minor mishap with a cask could cause many caskets!” (Thomas J. Abinanti, Westchester County Board of Legislators, 2004)
Buchanan NY, home to Indian Point Nuclear Power Station, Chernobyl Exclusion Zone overlay via Greenpeace: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/code/2016/chernobyl/index.html (Interactive map at the original link).
Graphic by Donna Gilmore of SanOnofreSafety.org, foremost expert on Holtec dry canisters-casks, who has aptly dubbed these “100s of Chernobyls in a Can”
Why should those outside of the New York City area care, other than ethical considerations? Besides the fact that an accident may seriously impact places over 1000 miles away depending on wind and rain, NYC has 8.5 million and NY metro area 20 million people. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_metropolitan_area If much of this area became an uninhabitable permanent exclusion zone the population shift will have serious repercussions on the rest of the USA. The New Orleans diaspora due to Hurricane Katrina-levy failures was under half a million: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Orleans_diaspora But, it had serious repercussions in other urban areas including increased crime, increased competition for housing and jobs. The culture of New York, like New Orleans, is somewhat unique and somewhat distinct from much of the USA, meaning that neither New Yorkers nor the host communities may be happy with this dispersal.
This is apart from the economic impacts of destroying an important port, airport, financial center, manufacturing base, and the largest CBD in the world: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_New_York_City https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_of_New_York_and_New_Jersey
How do Entergy and Holtec have so much power that they are allowed to put all of this at risk?
“Entergy’s proposal involves storing the casks on an open concrete storage pad with no overhead protection! THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!! WHY NOT GIFT WRAP THEM AS WELL!! Soil berms, above-ground bunkers and containment buildings can be used to shield the casks from line-of-sight so that the casks are not as vulnerable to acts of terrorism involving hand-held weaponry (i.e. anti-tank missiles) or aircraft. Entergy must construct a robust, containment structure over the irradiated fuel pools. The buildings that currently house each irradiated fuel pool at Indian Point do not serve as containment; nor are they fortified structures capable of repelling a terrorist attack./ I respectfully request the NRC NOT TO RELICENSE IP 2 & 3, because the site is located in such a densely populated area (an NRC regulation for new plants/licenses).” (Thomas J. Abinanti, Westchester County Board of Legislators, 2004, emphasis our own.)
Exposed Spent Nuclear Fuel Casks at Indian Point Nuclear Power Station, upper and middle left.
Road Near Indian Point Nuclear Power Station with water on both sides; small raised sidewalk but no emergency lane.
Emphasis added: http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0435/ML043520411.pdf
(While Route 9 appears now 4 lane, route 9A and feed-in roads remain mostly two-lane, sometimes with water on both sides and no emergency lanes. The roads appear in poor condition due to climate and water-front location and possibly lack of investment.)
Westchester County Demographics:
It is predominantly white and only about 10% are beneath the poverty level. http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/chart/EDU635213/36119 The Nuclear Power Station is located in Buchanan: “About 2.2% of families and 3.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.3% of those under age 18 and 1.8% of those age 65 or over.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buchanan,_New_York
Read more details about the problems with Holtec Spent Fuel Casks (as well as within our blog) here: “30 years after Chernobyl, Department of Energy meets in Sacramento to discuss storage of hundreds of U.S. “Chernobyls” in a can“ https://sanonofresafety.org/2016/04/25/04262016-sacramento-doe-nuclear-waste-meeting-doe-ignores-cracking-risk-in-storage-plan/
Holtec appears to be constantly requesting and getting “Amendments” impacting safety. See Amendment 8, Revision 1: http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1604/ML16042A209.pdf
Holtec continues to request Amendments which reduce safety in their already flimsy 1/2 inch spent fuel (unvented) canisters, (surrounded by vented casks). Most recently on April 13th 2016:
16×16 fuel http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML0606/ML060670514.pdf
Holtec International HI-STORM 100 Cask System—License Amendment Request (1014-10)
Proposed CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10
Appendix A for Proposed CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10
Appendix B for Proposed CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10
Appendix A—100U for Proposed CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10
Appendix B—100U for Proposed CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10
Preliminary SER for Proposed CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10
The NRC may post materials related to this document, including public comments, on the Federal Rulemaking Web site at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2015-0270.
Photo: Warsaw coffins CC-BY-3.0, Attribution: Photo by Tom Oates, 2013, via wikipedia