Sunday, June 05, 2005

No Fly Zone @ Disney But Not @ Nuke

Our own local chamber of horrors, the Indian Point nuclear power facility has more than it's share of problems. These are chronicled extensively at the Riverkeeper site. http://www.riverkeeper.org/campaign.php/indian_point



Until recently, Indian Point 2 had the worst safety record among the nation's 103 commercial power reactors. That dubious distinction was awarded by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) which has a five-category system that rates the performance of nuclear plants and decides the level of federal control needed to ensure they are run correctly.


These include age, numerous shutdowns, problems with storage of spent fuel, releases of radioactive material, vulnerability to earthquake damage and security problems. (There is much more on the Riverkeeper site and I would recommend going there to read all of it.)

According to Riverkeeper, it is estimated that more than 20 million people live within a 50 mile radius of of the power plant. Included are the 5 boroughs of New York City and surounding suburbs, northern New Jersey and southwestern Connecticut. These are some of the most densely populated areas in the nation.

The facility was built almost 30 years ago at a time before the problems now associated with at least some nuclear power plants were fully appreciated, both from environmental and safety standpoints. It was also a time when terrorism was considerably less of a threat. In the wake of 9/11 there have been renewed concerns regarding Indian Point's susceptibility to terrorist attack. Apparently little has changed since before that time. The vulnerability to air attack is a particular problem. In fact, one of the 9/11 jets passed overhead on that day. In view of this, what follows is most intreresting.

Indian Point or Disney, which is more vulnerable to air attack? Riverkeeper has the answer:


Indian Point is still without a no-fly zone. This is rather disturbing given the fact that both Disney World and Disneyland have no-fly zones enforced above them. If Mickey Mouse and Disney deserve a no-fly zone, shouldn't Indian Point and Entergy?


So Mickey and Minny get protection currently unavailable to a vulnerable nuclear facility with a very poor safety record. The happiest place on earth indeed!


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