Indian Point Considers Seismic Safety (The Journal News)

April 8, 2011

Re "Weigh new science in IP relicense review," Sunday editorial:

As the retired director of licensing for Entergy Nuclear Northeast and a person who worked in support of Indian Point for over 30 years, I read this editorial with interest.

Reviewing seismic activity is not a new concept at Indian Point. I was the manager at Indian Point responsible for funding and supporting a network of 10 micro seismometers in Rockland and Putnam counties under the direction of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in the 1970s to evaluate concerns raised by New York state over possible seismic activity in the surroundings of Indian Point. This study, conducted over several years, concluded the seismic design of Indian Point is sound and the plants are safe.

In 2008, an Independent Safety Evaluation was published by a panel of independent experts who evaluated 64 safety issues at Indian Point, including seismic design. That study again confirmed the seismic design of Indian Point is sound and the plants are safe.

Another study published that same year by scientists from Lamont-Doherty reports a possible new source of seismic activity near Indian Point. The NRC has already agreed to treat Indian Point on a priority basis to review the concerns of seismic activity including that in this new report and I know that Entergy will fully cooperate in this evaluation.

The editorial raised concerns about the seismic design of the Tappan Zee Bridge and whether that could impact emergency planning for Indian Point. It will not. The Hudson River bridges are not used in the Indian Point Emergency Plans.

I have lived less than four miles from Indian Point for 40 years and know that the plants are safe.

The writer, a Garnerville resident, is former director of licensing for Entergy Nuclear Northeast, which owns and operates the Indian Point nuclear facility.