Monday, October 29, 2007

US EPA Calls For Evaluation of Environmental Costs of Terrorist Attack

Just in over the AP, the US EPA agrees with FUSE USA that the environmental costs of a successful terrorist attack on Indian Point must be included in the SEIS. The EPA's position runs contrary to the NRC's wrongful attempts to eliminate same from any consideration in the EIS process.

NRC egregiously takes the position that Security for the plant needs to be dealt with on a ongoing, ever changing basis...we agree with that premise, but point out that Security in and of itself has nothing to do with evaluating the environmental costs should a successful terrorist attack occur. NRC chooses to ignore this very simple fact, and in ignoring this basic tenant of an Environmental Impact Study for Indian Point, they are failing to abide by the NEPA rules to evaluate all environmental impacts, no matter how GREAT, or how small.

Further, the AP story brings out another IMPORTANT ISSUE that FUSE USA has brought to the attention of the NRC. Entergy's application for a License Renewal, is not and amendment to extend their CURRENT OPERATING LICENSE, but in fact a application for a NEW LICENSE for the two facilities. Based on this simple fact, all EIS siting criteria issues should be included within the scope of the SEIS. The NRC is of the belief that the Current License Basis is sufficient to justify a GEIS (Generic Environmental Impact Statement) for almost all site specific issues. That belief will be challenged in the License Renewal Process for Indian Point.

In order for NRC to proceed toward that goal they required the resolution of legal issues regarding extensions. In January of 1989, NRC’s General Counsel issued his opinions regarding these issues, namely that the extension be accomplished via a new license rather than an amendment of the current license and that an environmental assessment would be required with either a finding of no significant impact’ or an environmental impact statement. Office of General Counsel (OGC) stated that based upon their review of case law and regulations, an antitrust review would not be required. NRC staff reached certain conclusions based upon OGC’s input and the opinions offered by other interested groups, among these, that the current licensing basis would “provide reasonable assurance of adequate protection” of the public. They determined that NRC should draft a generic environmental impact statement to be used in all renewal cases.

FUSE USA points out a glaring error in the AP story. Several news sources are reporting that the city of New York has filed a Petition to Intervene in the License Renewal hearings.

Various groups have filed lawsuits demanding hearings on the scope of the relicensing. New York City, just 30 miles south of the reactors in Buchanan, has formally requested _ without taking a position _ that it be allowed a voice in the decision.

This is what the New York Economic Development Corporation would LIKE EVERYONE TO BELIEVE. However, when said corporation was pushed on this matter in a phone conversation last week, they RELUCTANTLY admitted they are not a part of New York government, but wanted to defend their inclusion in the License Renewal process. Fact is, said corporation works closely with Mayor Bloomberg's office, but IS NOT IN ANY WAY LEGALLY A PART OF New York City government, and thus HAS NO STANDING. Much like NY AREA who is also trying to intervene, NY Economic Development Corporation is a Pro-Business, pro nuclear energy group wrongfully trying to elbow their way into the process. The NRC cannot allow Entergy, NEI and the nuclear industry to send wolves into the hen house dressed as sheep. NY AREA was originally started and funded with Entergy DOLLARS, and should have ZERO standing in the License Renewal process.

No comments: