Posting in Cities
Closing the Indian Point nuclear power plant could cost the typical New Yorker less than 18 cents per day. The plant is located in a fault zone just 35 miles outside of New York City.
Closing a controversial nuclear power plant that’s located near New York City -- in a fault zone -- will cost residents just an additional 18 cents per day on their electric bills, according to news reports.
Consolidated Edison, the city’s public utility company, told CNN that the closure of the Indian Point Energy Center would run the typical resident approximately US$65 per year. That is equivalent to buying fewer than five packs of cigarettes at a bodega.
Indian Point is the longstanding bête noire of activists and nuclear watchdogs in the Empire State. The nuclear crisis in Japan has heightened criticism of the facility, which requires relicensing to continue its operations.
The facility, which supplies the state with up to 30 percent of its energy needs, has recently requested over 100 exemptions from fire codes.
Indian Point resides just 35 miles from New York City, and is now the government’s top priority in a post Fukushima review of the seismic risks facing U.S. nuclear power plants. An accident holds the potential to be catastrophic.
Manhattan and its surrounding boroughs have a high population density: The 2010 census tallied 8,175,133 people living in the city proper. The official count may be even higher.
That number does not include residents of north Jersey and Long island, who would fall just outside of the exclusion zone that the Japanese government has put in place around Fukushima.
The entire city and much of its surrounding suburbs – including exclusive beach communities and business centers -- would be enveloped if the U.S. government’s recommendation of a 50-mile exclusion zone were being enforced. Evacuation would not be an option.
Have you ever tried leaving Long Island during rush hour traffic under “normal” conditions? Salvation would come down to just a few vital bridges and tunnels in and around Manhattan. Forget about an evacuation – it’s just not happening.
Speaking as a New Yorker, $65 is a bargain to me; the human suffering and impact on the national economy would cost us far more than it would to shutter Indian Point. There are newer, better technologies - both nuclear and renewable. Let's use them.
Mar 28, 2011
A couple of things missing in this blog. 1st off, it's important to note that IP1 is already shutdown in a SafeStor configuration (see http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf19.html). The license for IP2 is set to expire in 2013 (probably won't be extended now thanks to recent events and abundancy of fear-based news reporting) and IP3 license expires in 2015. Does it really makes sense to close this facility and attempt to replace the power IP is generating in a reasonable amount of time, given the huge amount of infrastructure needed to replace this power? ConEd may be engaging in wishful thinking. When Rancho Seco (operated by SMUD) was shutdown in 1989, the massive scramble to secure short-term power contracts cost ratepayers upwards of 80% more on their electric bill. Lawsuits followed closely because in part, the promises made by SMUD's board of directors that rates would stay reasonably low if the plant were shutdown. Also you make it seem that ConEd is the operator when in fact, it's Entergy that operates IP. ConEd is purchasing the power generated from IP. As for the fire code exemptions, the source cited goes on to say that according to NRC, Entergy is operating the plant consistent with fire safety regulations and is taking compensatory measures to ensure fire safety while they look to fund much-needed fire system upgrades (expensive proposition to say the least). Trying to evacuate a large metropolis like NYC, especially with the limited egress routes, would be more disastrous to human health and safety than incidental exposure to small quantities of airborne or waterborne radioactivity. I suspect that the risks to humans from the earthquake (which if the epicenter were not off-coast, like it was in Japan, would not result in a tsunami flowing towards the NY coast) and ensuant panic-driven exodus would be FAR greater than the exposure to low-level radioactivity from the plant, were it to even approach the conditions of Dai-ichi. Speaking of exclusion zones or Emergency Planning Zones (EPZ) as they are called in the U.S., are designed for maximum safety to the public in a worst-case scenario. Typically in the U.S., they are 10 mile radius for plume exposure pathway (inhalation of resultant plume from exposed core incident) and 50 mile radius for ingestion exposure pathway (food/water supply). The key here is knowing the plume pathway (one of the most important parameters tracked during any kind of accident involving release of radioactivity). If the prevailing winds blow away from NYC, it doesn't make sense to evacuate everyone located in the EPZ, just those in the pathway. Be well and keep looking at all sources.
The 2010 census tallied 8,175,133 people living in the city proper. The official count may be even higher. I thought the census was the official count?
My perspective is that if a 9.0 earthquake and a tsunami only cause a partical meltdown that ends up causing by far less loss of live and less injury than the quake and tsunami, why close Indian Point? I would force Consolidated Edison to comply with fire codes within a reasonable amount of time or face steep fines. Besides you still have to replace that 30% of the energy with some other source. Simply closing the plant without replacing the energy with another souce would cost a lot more with the potencial of rolling blackouts, etc.. They should requiring all of these plants comply with all codes period. If a code was put in after a plant was built the plant should be required to comply within reasonable time. Only if it is not possible to comply should there be an exemption.