Independent Safety Evaluation report on Indian Point completed
Entergy creates cross-functional team to determine next steps
Release date: 7/31/2008
White Plains, N.Y. — The Independent Safety Evaluation (ISE) panel"s report, while identifying areas for improvement that need to be addressed, confirms that Indian Point Energy Center is a safe and secure plant, Entergy officials said Thursday.
"First and foremost, we would like to thank the 12 members of the independent panel for their thorough review of Indian Point"s safety, security and emergency planning," said Michael R. Kansler, president, chief executive officer and chief nuclear officer of Entergy Nuclear. "For an energy company to volunteer for an independent review like this by a panel of outside experts is unprecedented and valuable.
"The independent panel members" hard work and expertise reinforces our belief that Indian Point is being operated safely and securely, and the plant is prepared today to respond to an emergency, including a terrorist attack."
As per the charter of the ISE, Entergy officials were orally briefed on the report"s highlights 24 hours in advance of public release, but they only received the full written report this morning, when the independent panel distributed it to all other interested parties.
Relationship with Public, Other Issues Identified for Improvement
While the independent panel clearly states the plant is fundamentally safe and secure, Entergy also appreciates that panel members have identified areas for improvement, particularly regarding IPEC's relationship with the public and officials. To appropriately address these very important issues, Entergy is forming a cross-functional, internal team to evaluate and make plans for improvement in the areas of concern identified in the report.
As evidence of our commitment to achieving top performance, Entergy will provide a formal response to the independent panel in 60 days, including addressing the issues raised in the report and determining actions the company expects to take. Entergy will make this response available to the public.
"The independent panel has done a thorough and highly professional job in completing the ISE," said Richard J. Smith, president and chief operating officer of Entergy Corporation, and CEO designate of Enexus Energy Corporation, the non-utility nuclear company to be spun off by Entergy Corporation. "They have identified a number of places on which to focus our attention and ways to improve.
"Since Entergy took ownership of IPEC, we have made substantial operational and safety improvements; importantly, the panel clearly states that we have more work to do. We will take to heart all of the independent panel's conclusions and recommendations, and we plan to use their report as a road map to achieving our goal of operating one of the nation's best run and best performing nuclear plants."
Entergy announced the launch of the Independent Safety Evaluation on March 18. The evaluation was conducted by a distinguished panel of 12 experts, who were selected for their unique qualifications and independence of relationships with Entergy that could compromise their judgment. The evaluation was designed to augment the ongoing regulatory mission of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The decision to perform an ISE came after the company listened to various constituencies and policymakers and conducted numerous focus groups in an effort to understand the concerns associated with Indian Point.
This unprecedented action included the following elements of the ISE:
The safety elements include:
The security evaluation would include Indian Point's capability to deal with credible security events, including ones involving terrorist attacks.
The emergency preparedness scope includes:
The co-chairs of the independent panel were appointed by J. Wayne Leonard, chairman and chief executive officer of Entergy Corporation, the parent of Entergy Nuclear, with the complete understanding that they would be independent of the company and have total autonomy to conduct a thorough investigation. The members were selected by the co-chairs, and the panel operated independently of the company.
Entergy funded the cost of the evaluation because the company believes it should not be the public's responsibility to pay for an ISE through taxpayer dollars. In addition, independent panel selection criteria included absence of relationships with Entergy or other circumstances that could unduly influence a member's judgment on matters reviewed.
The ISE panel was co-chaired by Drs. James T. Rhodes and Neil E. Todreas.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 14,300 employees.
Entergy Nuclear's online address is www.entergy-nuclear.com.
Contact: Jim Steets
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