Nuclear power and nuclear weapons are serious public health threats. PSR-NY is active on nuclear power issues locally, nationally and globally, and also engages on nuclear weapons and disarmament issues.
Closing Indian Point
PSR-NY is supporting a New York City Council Resolution calling for closure of the aging, troubled Indian Point nuclear reactors. Indian Point is located just 35 miles north of New York City, with 20 million people living and working within a 50-mile radius. The evacuation plan for a radiological accident at Indian Point covers only a ten-mile “keyhole” area downwind, which means there’s no evacuation provision for New York City or the rest of the tri-state area.
Recent changes in the City Council make us hopeful it will make a clear statement that New York City doesn’t want to continue to risk the public health and safety threats posed by Indian Point—especially when the plant is selling most of its power out of state, and plenty of electricity is available from other sources that don’t produce radioactive emissions and nuclear waste.
Opposing Subsidies for Ginna
PSR-NY also opposes current efforts by Constellation Energy to make ratepayers pay subsidies to keep the Ginna nuclear reactor near Rochester operating. Ginna is the third-oldest operating reactor in the US, and has been losing hundreds of millions of dollars in the past few years. Instead of forcing ratepayers to subsidize a private corporation endangering their health, we should cease producing high-level nuclear waste and eliminate the dangers of an accident at Ginna.
Confronting Health Effects from Nuclear Power
Nationally, PSR-NY is part of a PSR team engaged with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s “Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” for radiation exposure standards regarding nuclear power operators. We’re also part of an international NGO effort to determine the health effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. PSR and IPPNW members produced a critique of the official report authored by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) that soft-pedaled health effects from Fukushima.
The growing worldwide movement for nuclear disarmament continued to build momentum at the December 2014 ICAN Conference on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons held in Vienna, Austria, where PSR’s Ira Helfand and Catherine Thomasson spoke. More than 150 countries are pushing the nuclear weapons states to honor their obligation under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to give up their nuclear arsenals.