After last night’s discussion, there remain open questions that need answering. We still don’t have satisfactory answers about the potential impacts of this radiation in the context of all the other pollutants to which we are exposed. Arguments like “we’ve been doing this for years” and “we are all exposed to lots of radiation” are offensive to people who have lost loved ones to cancer, or are dealing with children with genetic abnormalities, for example. Ideally, we should be trying to eliminate exposure whenever possible and seeking alternatives to exposing people to unnecessary radiation.
The safe decommissioning of Indian Point remains the number one issue that constituents write to me about. My job is to represent my constituents and bring their concerns forward. My constituents by and large do not believe that Holtec or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have their best interests in mind. They will need to do a lot of work to establish trust in this community. Holtec’s threats of layoffs also do not help. Building trust will take time and good faith actions. Pushing forward without the community on board will do untold damage to this effort.
I was not reassured by some of Holtec’s responses last night, particularly with regard to the timing of any potential discharges. They still appear to be more protective of their bottom line and their “efficiencies” than the community’s wishes. Holtec pausing the May discharges was a wise move and a good step in the right direction. Based on the timeline they presented, there is no reason to rush to discharge without first allowing state agencies to further address the unanswered questions raised last night. Continued transparency and willingness to listen and work with the community will help to build trust. I will continue to push for the highest standards and the best solutions for our community throughout this process.