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Nuclear Regulatory Commission to re-analyse costs of potential impact of severe accident At Indian Point

Indian Point nuclear plant, which the government of New York would prefer to close. Photo: Ricky Flores/The Journal NewsNRC reverses decision on Indian Point accident analysis, Westfair By Ryan Deffenbaugh May 5, 2016 Federal regulators used the wrong data to analyze the potential impact of a severe accident at Indian Point Energy Center and will have to redo the study, a panel of commissioners with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled Wednesday.

The commission reversed an earlier administrative ruling and found that the NRC analysis of the costs of a severe accident at the Buchanan nuclear facility relied on incorrect data, in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act. The decision directs NRC staff to redo its analysis using other sources of data.

“While typically we decline to second-guess the [Atomic Safety and Licensing Board] on its fact-specific conclusions, here the decision contains obvious material factual errors and could be misleading, warranting clarification,” NRC officials wrote in the decision.

The NRC study was challenged by New York Attorney Eric Schneiderman, who said it systematically undercounted the costs and impacts associated with severe reactor accidents at Indian Point.

His office put out a statement Wednesday applauding the ruling.

“The commissioners’ decision requires the NRC staff to do what should have been done years ago: provide an accurate account of cost-effective upgrades at this aging nuclear plant that can prevent or minimize severe accidents,” Schneiderman said. “While some might prefer to treat severe accidents as impossibilities, the millions of people who live and work near Indian Point deserve nothing less than a full and fair assessment of the plant upgrades needed to protect them against such accidents.”……..

The federal licenses for both Indian Point’s reactors have expired and Entergy has applied for a 20-year renewal from the NRC. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has fought against the renewal, arguing that Indian Point’s location in a densely populated area makes it unsafe. He reiterated that view in a statement following the NRC’s decision Wednesday.

“Clearly, this facility poses too great a risk to the millions of people who live and work nearby,” Cuomo said. “We will work closely with NRC staff and continue to monitor Indian Point’s daily operations to ensure that a proper analysis is done regarding any unacceptable dangers to ensure that the public is protected at all times.”

May 6, 2016 - Posted by | safety, USA

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