Local news (WPIX-TV) coverage about Indian Point nuclear power plant
On May 31, 2013, Pix 11 (WPIX-TV out of New York City) published a story titled Local power plant battling lawmakers and environmentalists to stay open that included some information about the potential negative effects on the New York City power supply if the plant is forced to shut down.
It mentioned that politicians like Governor Andrew Cuomo and antinuclear groups like Riverkeeper (in light of the threat of global climate change, I have a hard time granting any group that vigorously opposes nuclear energy with the title of “environmental”) are working hard to require the premature retirement of Indian Point. The news story highlighted a recently published report from the New York Independent System Operator titled “Power Trends 2013”, which included the following warning about the impact of a pushing Indian Point’s 16 GW-hrs per year of annual electricity production off of the New York grid.
This would result in immediate transmission security and resource adequacy criteria violations unless sufficient replacement resources are in place prior to retirement.
The reporter provided the following interpretation that made the rather technical-sounding language personal for the viewing audience.
What that means is, without another power source, closing Indian Point means you probably won’t be able to power your air conditioner to fight the sweltering summer heat. Or any other home appliance for that matter.
(Emphasis in original report.)
According to the reporter, the cost of replacing Indian Point’s power output would be more than $800 million dollars and that cost would be passed on to consumers. That modest cost estimate can only includes the cost of building replacement power generating capacity using open cycle natural gas turbines (it works out to just $400 per kilowatt of capacity); it cannot include the cost of new gas transmission pipelines, the continuing cost of fuel to operate the plants or the cost of building more efficient, combined cycle power plants.
The news item also included clips of attention grabbing speeches from local politicians who apparently do not have a good understanding of electricity production, the importance of reliable electricity, or the way that electric power grids function to maintain the flow of electricity from power plants all the way to customers.
Here is a quote from a politician behind a podium near the end of the clip. He is not identified, but he is standing in front of a banner that says Westchester County Board of Legislators.
While the risk of something happening might be small, the consequences would be horrific.
I wonder when reporters are going to put politicians on the spot by asking them what the “horrific” consequences of Fukushima really were?
Update: (This post was updated on June 2, 2013 at 5:41 am.) When publishing the first version of this post, I took the lazy route of simply embedded the video from PIX 11 instead of summarizing its contents. I did not realize that the iframe code included an autoplay feature that I could not disable. I apologize for including the annoying feature that started playing every time you reloaded the Atomic Insights site. End Update.
In related news, in a May 31, 2013 post on Dot Earth, Andy Revkin reported on the UNSCEAR report about Fukushima health effects. The article is titled Experts Foresee No Detectable Health Impact from Fukushima Radiation. Please join in the comment thread.
I also recommend that you allocate 10 minutes or so to watch the Vogtle progress update video published as the Friday matinee at ANS Nuclear Cafe.
Re: Nuclear Matinee: Plant Vogtle Nuclear Construction Update.
Really fascinating! I hope they’re making an hourly all year time-lapse video of the construction site!
As for Indian Point, what else can be said of a NYC metro media mob that smugly clucked over having helped shutdown the spanking new Shoreham nuclear plant via the darkest most alarmist ominous newscasts this side of Godzilla on the horizon? Such guys as this at one blurt before a camera can undo months of hard-worked grass-roots nuclear teach-ins. I’m trying to find a way to feedback and rebut this Westchester legislator but can’t find what media outlet to respond to. It behooves all nuclear advocates to not wait on others but take the initiative and immediately respond to fear-mongers like these when they first pop heads from their gopher holes because to allow them to go unchallenged is to let FUD fester and plants go unbuilt. ANY TYPE nuke plant. Again, the hefty lynchpin to fix this is massive adult nuclear education on TV and cable and print, but we’re just not getting it because too many involved in nuke PR issues just don’t get it. Indeed, Indian Point is nearly under siege, yet we here in NYC get squat any Ads or PSAs supporting it much less nuke educating the public from its owners. Not hawking or defending your own product? It’s so insane it’s crazy.
James – You (and I) have both complained that operators of nuclear plants don’t spend enough effort on public opinion. Common Cause thinks its the opposite: http://www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=8667133
(For extra credit see how many sly distortions and biases you can find)
Oh, did I mention the report was funded by George Soro’s Open Societies Foundation? If they really wanted to have some fun, they could delve into the machinations of their billionaire leftist sponsor. Not likely, under the dont-bite-hand-that-feeds rule.
In that vein, please see my comments directed to the author of this instinctively-biased piece of NYC reportage: http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2013/may/30/report-entergy-political-spending-soars-push-relicense-indian-point
Also, there will be an advance screening of Pandora’s Promise on June 10 at the Jacob Burns Film Center. Robert Stone will be there debating Riverkeeper’s RFK Jr, with Revkin moderating. Will be interesting to see which side shows up in more force in this important media market.
I hope a video of that debate will be posted online. I’d like to see it.
Revkin said tonight he would post it on his blog once it’s made available by the Burns Film Center: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com
P.S. – Stone won, hands down, except to the vocal minority of die-hard antis in the crowd.
Thanks for the WPIX mention update.
WPIX Channel 11 is an almost obscure TV station now thanks to cable, after trying on many suits as a fledgling flagship of network try-outs like Universal and Warner Brothers and such. To most New Yorkers who remember, maybe its best claim to third banana broadcast fame is it was the first to run non-network series as “Xenia” and “Hercules” and “TekWar”,. though those as I will recall it long before as the “kiddie” and old movie station and the NYC first in the 60’s to run anime like Eighth Man and Astroboy and Brit “s_tuff” like Supercar and Thinderbirds — ah, those were the days! But today WPIX is so fifth banana obscure (read some call it a “placeholder” station for biggies to grab) that one would have to wonder just how much of any heads’ up on nuclear — or any other non pet show human interest news — might have on the NYC area. I do know they’re nowhere near as ardently anti-nuclear as network affliates in NYC are. So I hope my pro-nuclear is delivered to the NYC legislature to that pol in question.
I was working at Indian Point 3 then owned (along with James Fitzpatrick in upstate NY) by NYPA (New York Power Authority) when Andy Cuomo’s father, Mario, created LIPA (the Long Island Power Authority) which he directed to buy LILCO’s (Long Island Lighting Company’s) Shoreham BWR for $1.00 and decommission it. The Plant Manager at IP3 was re-assigned to LIPA to oversee the decommission. Andy is following in his father’s footsteps. Andy’s and Mario’s position on nuclear power (at least Indian Point and Shoreham respective) is but one of the great many policies and programs put forward by these two politicians which I find utterly loathsome and detestable. I could use stronger words, but not in mixed company.
I do agree completely with what Atomic Rabbit pointed out above, but we should also note that Mario’s successor, George Pataki, was little better than a RINO given wholly over to the country-club Republicans in upstate NY, and was more than happy to have the embarrassment of the NYPA-owned nuclear power plants IP3 and JAF sold to Entergy Nuclear. While for the management of both plants that has been a most salutary exchange, it only goes to show that the right-wing politicians are as lethargic and apathetic regarding nuclear energy as the left-wing ones are amazingly stupid and idiotic. While I loathe and detest the latter, I (and many others) am utterly disgusted and betrayed by the former. “Put not your trust in princes” is a very old saying still true today.
By the way, important side note: I had the opportunity (before my divorce) to talk with my ex-spouse’s uncle who was a commercial attorney on Long Island. He opposed Shoreham and was glad at what Mario had done. I explained to him step by step how renewable energy (i.e., wind, solar, tidal, etc.) doesn’t work, how fossil fuel pollutes, how electric prices rose on Long Island, how used nuclear fuel is stored, how radiation can have a hormetic effect, how nuclear power plants are designed with defense-in-depth, etc, etc, etc. He agreed with me every step of the way for each little tiny explanation. And at the end he said Mario did the right thing, Shoreham was unsafe, and Indian Point is equally unsafe. This man was an intelligent, college-degreed, financially successful individual, and certainly far smarted than me. But the religion of eco-nonsense was an ideology burned into his cerebral cortex that no amount of explanation, reasoning or logic could ever remove. Forgive me therefore for being so blunt, but the majority who elected Mario’s son deserve exactly and precisely what they have received. I, however, feel great sorrow for the poor families and small businesses who won’t be able to afford their electric bills should Andy be successful in his insanity.
Re: Paul W Primavera
”… And at the end he said Mario did the right thing, Shoreham was unsafe, and Indian Point is equally unsafe. This man was an intelligent, college-degreed, financially successful individual, and certainly far smarted than me. But the religion of eco-nonsense was an ideology burned into his cerebral cortex that no amount of explanation, reasoning or logic could ever remove. Forgive me therefore for being so blunt, but the majority who elected Mario’s son deserve exactly and precisely what they have received.”
You just can’t be too blunt in this issue. Anti-nukers have perpetuated nothing less than mass brainwashing upon the population to take their word and “proof” for it and don’t bother doing your own research or using common sense much less hear out the other’s case or validate their proof. Like with anti-Pilgrim Cape Cod it’s sheer fear fanned by the imagined innoucousless and peacefulness of “natural” energy sources that rules the roost, not reason or evidence or record. I am not casting bad spells, but with the prevailing anti-nuclear media climate wedded to the unceasing FUDing of anti-nuclears, the effect of Panadora’s Promise on a basicly niche viewership is going be a blip on the radar in getting public nuclear acceptable and regarded. I can tell you how NYC media is going to play the premire here before flicking on to features on dog shows. The juguar of the anti-nuke movement is their sychopants in the media and this ought be the target of a serious pro-nuke Ad blitz; show up the media for the nuclear bigots most are. Who howl to high heavens if a bucket of “radioactive” water is kicked over in a plant but who just shrug when billions of dollars are being wasted trying to prove “alternate” energy when a tried and true under fire source is being scorned and diminished. It’d love to see the producer of Pandora’s Promise (hey here’s my $10 to do it!) run a special showing in Cape Cod to see just how many heads it might turn. The result of that could prove a volume of ideas to take the public back from the fearmongers.
James – use that $10 to support the film and be a part of the NY premiere:
Paul – Your story about your ex-spouse’s uncle, in which you tried to guide him through the nuclear issues in an attempt to change his mind,
reminded me of a saying that I heard recently (but I can’t remember the source):
“Ignorance is a curable human condition; pride and arrogance not so much.”
I think that one aspect of the problem that the pro-nuclear movement confronts in their conversion efforts is the fact that many people are too proud to admit that they’ve been deluded all their lives by forces that propagated fear and misinformation. We have to come up with some “face-saving” methods to help these people find a way to see the light and do the right thing.
One way would be to promote the film “Pandora’s Promise”; get all your friends to see it. We’ve got to get it into the mainstream and prevent it from becoming just a niche film that is simply “preaching to the choir”.
Other suggestions would be welcome …
Thanks to Atomic Rabbit and William Vaughn. I have posted the You Tube video trailer on the film “Pandora’s Promise” at my own politically incorrect blog. Because I have commentary there not relevant to all things nuclear, I will refrain from cross-posting a link here (besides, most readers won’t agree with my other commentary and there’s no need to “start a fight” over other issues when it’s nuclear energy that we agree on). I have also provided a link to the movie’s web site to the staff in my department at work. If I get in trouble for that (doubtful, but possible), then it’ll still be worth it. 😉 I am 55 years old and I want a better world for my little daughter and son. Nuclear is a part of that and I am in no mood to compromise.
Indian Point next?
The anti’s are popping champange and grinding hatchets for the next job.
The damnest thing about it is that the total effect and bad persception of nukes being safe and reliable can be remedied by AGGRESSIVE adult nuclear PSA and AD education IF the power companies and nuclear community REALLY wanted to do it. Again the Tylenol incident is a renoun textbook example that image turnarounds are possible. What the impending closing of so many nukes just within a year for whatever reason and hardly being replaced as fast, not exaggerating to say that SONGS’ closing just put all the good and and nobel efforts of “Pandora’s Promise” in the media garbage can.
Damn needless shame!
My personal opinion is the next plant in jeopardy, again for economic reasons, may be Ft. Calhoun in Nebraska. Also, each of our 31 BWRs will now have multi-million dollar expenses fron the latest NRC ruling on vent enhancements. A Chief Nuclear Officer I know of is planning 10% personnel cuts before the end of the year. I doubt if he has the budget anymore for PR.
If you want to provide additional feedback on the SONGS issue, go to the NRC blogsite at
Be respectful and truthful.
Be aware there be some particularly nasty trolls who have taken up residence under that bridge, and they are feeling their oats.
SONGS Units 2 and 3, Crystal River and Kewaunee – four plants to be decommissioned. Governor Andy Cuomo is working on shutting down Indian Point units 2 and 3, the subject of this post. People of a certain political persuasion are working to shutdown Vermont Yankee in Brattleboro, VT and Pilgrim in Plymouth, MA. Alison MacFarlane, a geologist, is head of the US NRC, replacing rabid Jackzo whose treatment of woman NRC employees was an embarrassment to someone’s re-election campaign. While I despise and hold in great disdain the lethargy and apathy of the Republicans, they are NOT the ones doing this. Where do people think we’ll get the electricity from? Do they not know how fragile this whole infrastructure is that provides all their modern conveniences of life, or how easily it would be to crash back into the 19th century? I am sick to my stomach. Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison. And I really mean that because I don’t know what else to think or say.
Forgetting “drill, drill, drill” and two oil and natural gas developers in the Whitehouse for eight years?
Who stands in opposition to nearly all reasonable and rational carbon legislation and reforms?
How about the most recent candidate (Romney) standing shoulder to shoulder with big coal in Appalachia and fundraisers in Florida.
Yes. I’m sure this is exactly what’s going to happen when 3 of 104 reactors are shutdown early (primarily due to costly repairs that were botched by the industry attempting to make shortcuts around basic rules and regulatory requirements). Your “outrage” is obvious and hard to mistake.
I am equally disgusted with both parties. But some facts are in order. No electricity is the worst of all alternatives. Coal is bad because its pollution and mining are especially harmful, but the resulting electricity is better (even including the bad things that coal mining and burning results in) than no electricity. Natural gas is better than coal but still bad because of its pollution and the explosive hazards associated with its use. Again, the resulting electricity is better than no electricity. Nuclear is by far the best because it does not pollute, because its safety record (even including the 6 deaths at Fukushima) is superior to all, and because in the long run it is the cheapest. However, what the current Administration proposes is wind mills and shiny mirrors which have capacity factors not even at 30%, and which supply no electricity when there is no wind (or too much wind) and no sunlight or cloudy, overcast days. Such so-called renewable energy is equivalent 70% of the time to no electricity, and even nasty dirty coal is superior to that. Yet hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars are borrowed from the communist Chinese on useless now failed renewable energy companies like Solyndra.
As for Romney and the Republicans, I do not support them. I am a member of a political party that is not one of the big two. My reasons have far more to do with issues outside the scope of this forum and its stated purpose – nuclear power. The fact of the matter is that going forward, unless there is some sort of miraculous change in the big two parties, I won’t support either one. The animosity of most Democrat politicians (not all) to nuclear, and the lethargy and apathy of most Republican politicians (again, not all) is but one small reason among many far more important issues that are not relevant here.
And PS, “drill, baby, drill” is preferable to no electricity, but reprocessing / recycling used nuclear fuel in the next generation of reactors is the best solution. Yes, if you truly knew me, my outrage indeed would obvious and hard to mistake.
@James Greenidge. Sure, the antis are celebrating, but what do they have to do with the shutdown of the plant? Edison sought a license amendment to shortcut safety reviews to operate power plant at 70% power (since full power might result in failure of equipment), and they made their own determination that such a shortcut and safety exemption was unlikely. Are you suggesting the NRC should have one set of rules for San Onofre, and a different set of rules for the rest of the industry?
Chief executive officer was pretty clear, and said nothing about antis.
re: @James Greenidge. Sure, the antis are celebrating, but what do they have to do with the shutdown of the plant?”
Simple. They created such a climate of fear and mistrust that unnecessaryily worked up local pressure among community and pols like Boxer that the company perfered to throw in the PR towel than do what the engineers would’ve wanted to do and that’s to repair the thing. That’s the anti’s M.O. all over. I hope we get some of the folks who worked on SONGS here to tell their stories.
Ted Carver forgets to mention the real reasons for shutting down the reactors which are
1. SCE selected steam generators (SGs) from MHI as low bidder
2. SCE told MHI to change the SG design from original SGs
3. SCE told NRC the new SG design would be like the old SG design
4. MHI designed and built lousy SGs
5. SCE installed these lousy SGs into the plant with SCE oversight
6. The lousy SGs started wearing out after one year
7. One of the SGs developed a leak and SCE had to shutdown the reactor
8. SCE and worldwide consults came up with only two solutions – replace all these SGs or operate the plant at reduced power with the hope that the wearing will stop.
9. SCE wanted to go with reduced power operation for one reactor but NRC regulations would not allow this experiment without a formal licensing amendment.
10. SCE decided that the formal license amendment process was too long and made the business decision for permanent shutdown of the reactors.
So nice try Ted Carver trying to blame your own mess on the NRC.
Now the senior “scientist” at UCS is going after Pandoras Promise In a new blog on the UCS site…After rehang it all I could think is how UCS routinely uses the “tactics” they are accusing this film maker of using.
You can find the blog post here:
I’m shocked … shocked! … that an anti-nuclear organization (like the Union of Concerned Shills Pretending to be Scientists) would write a negative review of a pro-nuclear documentary.
Personally, I love how Lyman complains about how “sloppy” the film is when his own article could have used a couple more proofreads. It’s clear that he turned off his brain before sitting down to watch the film, much less to write his highly predictable “review.” 😉 Then again, anyone who is familiar with his work knows that he’s paid for the quantity of his output, not the quality.
Other reviews give it no better, and on the same merits: “as stacked as advocate moves get.”
I guess you just prefer a one sided conversation … shocking, indeed, for the same reasons as well.
I’m shocked … shocked! … that the New York Times would write a negative review of a pro-nuclear documentary.
EL – You should come out of your little liberal echo chamber and join the rest of the world some time. You might actually like it out here and enjoy some of the fresh air.
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