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Indian Point safe, well run

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Indian Point safe, well run

Letter to the Editor: By Patrick Moore
Published: Monday, November 16, 2009
Timesunion.com

Joseph Mangano’s Nov. 10 opinion piece, “Indian Point puts public health at grave risk,” stokes fear by ignoring fundamental facts and using distortions.

U.S. nuclear power plants have an outstanding safety record. There has never been a radiological death at a commercial U.S. nuclear power plant in the industry’s 50 years of operation.

In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is safer to work in the nuclear power industry than in real estate or financial services.

Indian Point, as part of its continuing inspections from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, its license renewal application, and an independent safety evaluation, has received unprecedented scrutiny. It has been found to be a safe and well-run facility.

Indian Point is also storing its used nuclear fuel in 80-ton dry cask canisters, the most sophisticated storage technology available. These containers are virtually impenetrable, to say nothing of the fact that they are immovable to terrorists.

Regarding Chernobyl, the technology used there was dramatically inferior to what is used at Indian Point or any American reactor. Reckless operator practices, unsafe shortcuts and a culture of Iron Curtain secrecy were the key factors that caused that tragedy.

Without nuclear power, America and New York would have far more coal and fossil fuel power. This would have very negative public health consequences. The continued operation of Indian Point makes New York a safer, cleaner place.

Patrick Moore
Vancouver, Canada

The writer is a co-founder of Greenpeace, and is an adviser to the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance.

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