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Call to halt Pipeline Construction and Operation Next to Indian Point Nuclear Plant

safety-symbol-SmFlag-USAMedical and Disaster Experts Investigate Pipeline Construction Next to Indianreactor-Indian-Point Point Nuclear Plant: Prompts Strong Call to Immediately Halt Pipeline Construction and Operation, Physicians For Social responsibility  October 18, 2016 Buchanan, NY – With a sense of utmost urgency, health care professionals, nuclear and disaster experts, public officials and members of the public had a first hand look this morning at the dangerous siting of the 42 inch diameter, high pressure Spectra AIM gas pipeline only 105 feet from vital structures at the aging Indian Point nuclear power plant located near two major earthquake fault lines in the most densely populated region in the nation. The pipeline construction which is nearing completion is targeted for operation on November 1st further heightening experts’ warnings and deep concerns regarding the unacceptable risk the pipeline poses to more than 20 million people in the region and the imperative to immediately halt construction and operation of the pipeline project to avert a potential nuclear disaster. The tour and press conference, hosted by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), a national organization comprised of medical professionals, that has been advocating for public health and safety for over 50 years, featured Dr. Irwin Redlener, Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Earth Institute at Columbia University and Paul Blanch, a nuclear power expert.

Leading nuclear and pipeline safety experts have repeatedly warned that a pipeline rupture at Indian Point could result in catastrophic nuclear releases worse than the Fukushima nuclear disaster endangering millions of people throughout the New York tri-state area who live within the 50-mile impact radius. Numerous documents in the record submitted by safety experts to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and other state and federal agencies reflect serious concerns regarding the lack of pipeline thermodynamics expertise and the complete absence of comprehensive independent risk, health and safety assessments of the co-location of these two major hazardous sites despite repeated urgent calls for such evaluations before any consideration of approval of the pipeline project. Serious concerns have also been raised about the considerable national security implications of the vulnerability of multiple, proximate sources of critical power infrastructure. However, FERC disregarded all of those concerns and requests and granted approval for the project in March 2015 allowing construction to begin in October 2015. The unacceptable risk to New York’s vast population compounded by the total lack of emergency protocols, safety training and preparedness, evacuation plans and public education in emergency scenarios have prompted public officials on local, state, and federal levels to join health and safety experts and the public in their demand for FERC to immediately halt construction and operation of the Spectra AIM pipeline.

Requests by safety experts and public officials for emergency protocols and safety preparedness indicate no evidence of planning for a pipeline rupture or explosion adjacent to the nuclear plant. The lack of emergency training and preparedness reflects the lack of recognition of the safety experts’ concerns regarding the perilous impact of a pipeline accident at that location and the imminent and permanent danger the AIM pipeline poses to the nuclear plant and the entire New York metropolitan area. Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) confirms that pipeline accidents are commonplace and have been significantly increasing in frequency in recent years including in newly constructed pipelines. There were 143 gas transmission line accidents in 2015.

Major concerns regarding lack of health and safety assessments, emergency procedures, training and preparedness before pipeline project approvals are considered have been echoed by other health professionals, public officials and emergency first responders in other regions across the Spectra AIM pipeline route in New England and for other pipeline projects across the United States……..

October 19, 2016 - Posted by | safety, USA

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