Construction may begin as early as October on a high-pressure gas pipeline to be sited around 100 feet from critical structures at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York, leading some pipeline and nuclear safety experts to warn that a pipeline rupture could cause a scenario similar to the 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan.
The project has been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission despite grave concerns about possible defects in its internal risk analysis, says Ellen Weininger, director of educational outreach for Grassroots Environmental Education. If the pipeline ruptured, the experts say, it could cause a catastrophic failure at the plant and a Fukushima-type scenario, where plant operators were unable to cool the reactors and spent fuel pools due to a loss of all power.
“These experts have been insisting that a thorough, independent and transparent risk assessment is imperative but wasn’t done, despite the fact that the project poses a serious threat to public health and safety of more than 20 million people who live in the New York metro area,” Weininger says. She’s urging concerned citizens to call their elected officials and demand that such an assessment be conducted immediately before any construction is allowed to proceed.
For contact information, visit SAPE2016.org.