Friday, November 2, 2007

Fight To Close Indian Point...Is IPSEC Still Relevant?

There was an article that appeared in the North Country News that posed the question, "Can Indian Point be Attacked?" The question was surprisingly asked by the EPA, and the article written by Abby Luby quoted Phillip Musgrave of Riverkeeper, Congressman John Hall, and Marilyn Elie of IPSEC, which might explain why the article appeared so quickly on the IPSEC list serve this morning. Marilyn Elie's quotes raised some questions in my mind, so I responded to the IPSEC list with some questions. Unfortunately, Mark Jacobs as the moderator of said list censored them, so I am posting those questions here on Green Nuclear Butterfly.

Marilyn Elie representing IPSEC was quoted as saying:

Marilyn Elie of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (IPSEC) an organization of over 70 grassroots groups wanting to shutter the plant, sees the EPA’s comments as a departure from the NRC’s agenda.

“This is a surprising development on the part of the EPA,” she said. “These real world issues like terrorism and a regional energy needs were not going to be considered by the NRC. Now, hopefully they will be.”

First, since when would a group like IPSEC allow the NRC to set the agenda? We all know that the fix is in, and that the NRC has tried to set the table in favor of Entergy successfully relicensing Indian Point. It is the job of our community, and the grassroots environmental community to widen and grow the agenda, so that important issues are actually evaluated in the process. EPA, DEC, and the New York State Attorney General's office should be applauded for their efforts in this regard, as should any grassroots organizations (FUSE USA, Riverkeeper) who are actively involved in the License Renewal Process.

Since IPSEC is wanting to shutter (close) Indian Point, one has to ask what steps IPSEC is taking as an organization representing 70 grassroots groups to be a part of the License Renewal Battle? Are they preparing a Formal Request to Intervene? Perhaps they are writing a Formal Request For a Hearing on behalf of their member organizations, and the public? Is IPSEC working closely with those groups filing contentions, and acting as interveners in the process? Is IPSEC encouraging their member organizations to plug into the fight, and to support those organizations mounting the legal challenge?

Marilyn goes on further to state that "These real world issues like terrorism and regional energy needs were not going to be considered by the NRC." Has she just accepted that as a fact? Curious where she came up with this conclusion, and what if anything IPSEC was/is planning on doing to bring these issues to the forefront on behalf of their 70 plus member organizations and our at risk community? The Environmental Effects of a Terrorist Attack on the spent fuel at Diablo Canyon was forced onto the discussion table because of the fine work of Mothers For Peace. It would seem to make logical sense that IPSEC is planning on filing contentions to bring these issues to the forefront, to force a conversation on these important issues. Or if IPSEC is not pro-actively plugging into the NRC public participation process on behalf of their 70 plus members, then what is IPSEC doing to support those groups that are filing contentions, are watching out for our community, are taking steps to protect human health and the environment?

In short, has IPSEC been able to reach a CONSENSUS as and organization on where they intend to fit into the fight to Close Down Indian Point? If they have, when can the community expect to know what those plans are? After all, isn't the core purpose of IPSEC to Close Down Indian Point?

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