ENTERGY, YOU'RE DOING A HECKUVA JOB
The possible next president of the United States has certainly mastered the current guy's habit of saying a mess is a success and he doesn't want to hear any backtalk, the basis for his authority being the fact that he happened to hold public office on 9/11:
...A potential political vulnerability [for Rudolph Giuliani] may be the consulting agreement that ties Giuliani Partners to a pair of nuclear reactors known as Indian Point. The reactors, located 35 miles north of midtown Manhattan and owned by a subsidiary of Entergy Corp. of New Orleans, have long evoked safety concerns....
Entergy hired Giuliani Partners to conduct a security assessment. "He had that single experience from 9/11 -- that drove him to the top," says Entergy spokesman Jim Steets. "All you've got to do is look at the polls: If he says the plant is safe, people are going to believe him."
Shortly after signing a contract in 2003, Mr. Giuliani's company oversaw a mock terrorist drill at the site and pronounced it safe -- an assertion Mr. Giuliani repeated to reporters in November.... "Our view is that Indian Point is as safe as a facility can be, and a pretty good model, if not an excellent model for not only other nuclear power plants but other industries," Mr. Giuliani said....
Now, here's the reality, as reported late last week:
On a recent day at the Indian Point nuclear power station, a truck-sized transformer, destroyed by fire, sat discarded on the edge of the property.
Nearby, a young scientist headed for the Hudson River with dye-detection equipment to search for the source of a leak of radioactive isotopes.
And in another part of the facility, separate computers were devoted to two problem-plagued emergency siren systems.
...Over the past two years, ... problems have included:
· Leaks of radioactive tritium and strontium-90, possibly from the pools that protect spent nuclear fuel, into the groundwater beneath Indian Point and then, in tiny concentrations, into the Hudson. The source is still being sought.
· Several failures of the siren system that’s designed to alert people within 10 miles of the Buchanan plants to any emergency. In July 2005, the sirens stood useless for nearly six hours when power was lost and no one noticed. In March 2006, the system locked up for several hours during a test.
· A missed deadline for the installation of a new siren system. Entergy was fined $130,000 by the NRC, which said the failure "reflects insufficient management attention at senior levels."
· Nine unplanned shutdowns of the reactors since 2005, including two last month, the latest due to the fire in the transformer.
· A finding by the NRC that some Indian Point workers were reluctant to raise safety concerns because they fear retribution....
But Saint Rudy says it's safe.
And that's supposed to help with this:
On Monday, Indian Point’s owner, Entergy Nuclear, applied for new licenses that would keep one reactor running until 2033 and the other until 2035.
Let me just say that, as a New Yorker, I'll be happy if this isn't wrapped up handily shortly after January 20, 2009.