Entergy, the Company that Owns Indian Point, Wants to Build Nuclear Power Plants Throughout New York City
They have this vision because they think that we the public are exaggerating the risks of radiation exposure.
I learned about it just now when I finally read New York magazine's current piece about Indian Point and New York's energy issues, called "A Slight Chance of Meltdown."
It's a good piece, carefully reported, clearly written, and lays out the issues for and against Indian Point. Those issues aren't simple.
And then near the end, there's this little scene, featuring two Entergy employees, Jim Steets, the spokesman for Indian Point, and Rick Smith, an Entergy vice president:
Sitting next to Smith is Jim Steets, director of communications for Indian Point, and together they begin to sketch their vision of a New York City populated with small nuclear plants dotted throughout the boroughs. “It’s a little like an aircraft carrier,” Smith says. “I think modular.”
“I grew up in grade school diving under the desk,” he goes on. “People still have the bomb theory, but a couple of generations down from now, everyone becomes more comfortable with nuclear power. That’s why we try so hard to get the facts out. Everyone who goes through the plant comes away with a better understanding.”
Steets pipes in. “The thing is, there isn’t really anything about dealing with radiation that we don’t understand.”
“You know,” says Smith. “I had an MIT professor, he did a presentation on Fukushima, and I said, ‘Listen, you have to explain what’s going on there and how it’s different from here.’ And he said to me, ‘Rick, you know what the problem is? Today we can monitor radiation to the finest detail, and we report it to the finest detail.’ ” This precision, industry officials believe, has distorted public opinion and led to overregulation; by their thinking, a little exposure to radiation isn’t a big deal. “Even the releases at Fukushima,” Smith says, “most of them would have very little effect on public health and safety.”
“Unfortunately,” Steets adds, “our detractors rely so much on fear.”
Smith nods in agreement.
“They refuse to look analytically.”
That's how the piece ends. It's not satire. I knew Jim Steets years ago when I was a reporter covering Indian Point. He's not given to joking around about nuclear power. And he's sitting there with the vice president of Entergy. And they apparently want to see "New York City populated with small nuclear plants dotted throughout the boroughs."
Labels: Indian Point