If Indian Point happens to spring a leak, the signal will sound, everyone can check the wind and just drive in the opposite direction. As ridiculous as we all know that sounds, the direction of the plume isn't even accounted for in the event of an emergency. "All roads will be directed south," says environmental educator and activist, Dr. Susan Rubin. In response, the environmental activist has just made a short stinging documentary on the grossly inadequate plan our leaders have devised.
The idea to look into the issue arose of the "weird and funny" blue bus stop signs that designate a shuttle to safety for the people of Peekskill. "The more we learned, the crazier it got," she said.
In the Event of an Emergency
In the event of a leak, Rubin learned that the plan cordons off a three mile radius as the evacuation zone. Peekskill is then instructed to find the signs and wait for the never tested bus system. “I don’t even know where the regular bus stops are,” says one of the subjects on the video.
Of course, the complacency most of us enjoy in the shadow of the 66 year old reactors doesn’t take into account the panic that would be set off, and/or the shadow evacuation that would unofficially leak out earlier.
The spreading word is as likely to be contained as the radiation. This would leave any ground zero public or private transportation modes at the mercy of what lays directly ahead. “The roads will be completely tied up outside the three miles,” says Rubin.
The science isn’t good.
That aside, the science of radiation poisoning actually does discriminate in the confines of the evacuation plan. “Peekskill isa less affluent section of Westchester, people will actually will have to wait for the bus because many don’t have cars. So this is a social justice issue too,” she says.
Even so, Rubin thinks people will get further by walking. But an exponential upsurge of catastrophe only receives incremental attention in the hopeless expediency that will follow. “The ten mile radius is an arbitrary number. It’s all the same plan,” she says of the 300,000 people encompassed in a death race out of Dodge.
More importantly, past disasters show that radiation plumes south would easily cloud everything from here to New York City. “That amounts to one eighth of the U.S. population,” says Rubin, and the gases won’t hesitate to linger onto Philadelphia.
A half life later on a mass scale, exodus still means financial survival beyond radiation affects. “The real estate value of property and homes will plummet, and we all will still owe our mortgage,” says Rubin.
Public Has to Make Itself Heard
But while public awareness was best summed up by the subject who thought an underground tunnel could traverse him to safety, Ralph Nader is far from removed on the issue. He voiced a simple solution in the film. “If 1 percent of the population contacted their representatives, politicians would follow through on Indian Point’s stalled license,” he stated in the film.
Probably too tall an order, Indian Point now faces an additional external threat beyond terrorism and natural disaster. A 42 inch pipeline of highly pressurized fracked gas is currently on the docket to run past the plant. “The same type of pipeline in San Bruno, Caifornia exploded in 2010 and killed eight people,” said Rubin.
Nonetheless, the six minute film demands a true evacuation test, and an actual plan that lives up to the possible consequences. But the stock footage of old duck and cover film from the 50s essentially sums up the chances that such a plan could be implemented.
In other words, put your head between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye.
In accordance, Dr. Rubin recommends that concerned citizens contact their county legislators, and local town officials to be begin the process of closing Indian Point.
Additionally, if the pipeline is a concern, contact your Westchester County Legislator today at (914) 995-2800. Tell them to demand an independent and transparent risk analysis and public health impact assessment before federal and state agencies make their decisions about the Spectra AIM Pipeline Project.