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RALPH NADER TO JOIN FORMER JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER NAOTO KAN AND OTHERS FOR NUCLEAR PANEL DISCUSSIONS
Seminars to focus on ongoing lessons from Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear catastrophe and the future of nuclear power in New York and Boston
NEW YORK (Oct. 7, 2013)—Ralph Nader, political activist, author, lecturer, and attorney, was recently added to the New York panel discussion which will address the lessons to be learned from the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident and the concerns regarding Indian Point Nuclear Power Station. Additional speakers on the panel include former Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan; former Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Dr. Gregory Jaczko; former NRC Commissioner Peter Bradford; and nuclear engineer, Arnie Gundersen, and are scheduled to share their perspectives on nuclear safety for the city’s respective power plant and the future of nuclear power. The panel in New York will be moderated by the President of Riverkeeper, Paul Gallay and in Boston by WGBH’s Sean Corcoran. The panels will specifically speak to concerns regarding Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, now operating with an expired license in Buchanan, New York and Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts. There are multiple concerns regarding both plants’ overcrowded storage of spent nuclear fuel rods. Indian Point contains almost three times the amount of radioactive material in its spent fuel pools as Fukushima-Daiichi. The seminars will be held in New York City on Tuesday, Oct. 8 and in Boston on Wednesday, Oct. 9.
U.S. citizens are now questioning the safety of the Indian Point and Pilgrim nuclear power plants. Pilgrim’s crowded storage pools are currently holding up to three times more spent fuel rods than they were designed to handle and can potentially be more dangerous than the nuclear reactors themselves. Earlier this year, a plant manager at Indian Point falsified test data on generator emissions due to high levels of particulate pollution which would cause the plant to close. In the event of a catastrophe like the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident, these plants would threaten millions. A nuclear disaster at Indian Point would threaten the entire population of New York City and the outlying metropolitan area. A crisis at Pilgrim poses similar danger to millions within 50 miles of the Plymouth plant including Boston, Cape Cod and surrounding areas.
Newest panel addition, Ralph Nader has been opposed to nuclear power since the 1970s and he later founded the Critical Mass Energy Project. Nader was recently named by The Atlantic as one of the 100 most influential figures in American history, one of only four living people to be so honored. He has launched two major presidential campaigns and founded or organized more than one hundred civic organizations.
Panel member and former Japanese Prime Minister Kan was in office in March 2011 when an earthquake and tsunami triggered the catastrophe at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant. He was confronted by three reactor meltdowns and a nuclear crisis that persists to this day. Jaczko was the Chairman of the NRC during the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the catastrophe at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. In 2012, Jaczko cast the lone dissenting vote on plans to build the first new nuclear power plant in the U.S. in more than 30 years.
Earlier this year on June 4, 2013, Jaczko, Bradford and Gunderson were joined by Japan’s former Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, where they spoke at the San Diego County Administrative Center about their concerns regarding the safety of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. Three days after the panel, the plant was closed permanently.
The panel discussion is open to the public and news media.
For media and the public who are unable to attend, the New York panel can be heard on a live feed at https://new.livestream.com/FukushimaLessons/newyork and the Boston panel can be heard at https://new.livestream.com/FukushimaLessons/boston, these webcasts will be archived at the link for at least 30 days once live. More information can be found at Facebook.com/FukushimaLessons.
What/Who: The panel, The Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Accident: Lessons for New York, will include Naoto Kan, the former Japanese Prime Minister, Ralph Nader, political activist, author, lecturer, and attorney, former NRC Chair Gregory Jaczko, Gregory Jaczko, who led the commission during the Fukushima-Daiichi accident, along with former NRC Commissioner Peter Bradford, and nuclear engineer Arnie Gunderson. Moderated by Paul Galley, President of Riverkeeper.
When: Tuesday, October 8, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Where: 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10128 (Theresa L. Kaufmann Concert Hall)
Why: Indian Point is a three-unit nuclear power station located in Buchanan, New York, 25 miles outside New York City. Potential risk of a nuclear crisis at Indian Point would pose a danger to millions in the New York area. The technology at the plant is 40 years old, and the containment domes were not designed to hold 100 tons of melting uranium in event of an accident and meltdown. Both Chernobyl and Fukushima are examples of accidents in outdated nuclear reactors.
What/Who: The panel, The Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Accident: Lessons for Boston, will include Naoto Kan, the former Japanese Prime Minister, former NRC Chair Gregory Jaczko, who led the commission during the Fukushima-Daiichi accident, along with former NRC Commissioner Peter Bradford, and nuclear engineer Arnie Gunderson. Moderated by WGBH journalist, Sean Corcoran.
When: Wednesday, October 9, 10:00am – 2:00pm
Where: Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02133 (Gardner Auditorium)
Why: The Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station is located in Plymouth, MA, 40 miles outside Boston. Last summer, Jaczko and the community presented legal appeals and environmental warnings to shut down Pilgrim, however, the NRC renewed the 40-year-old nuclear plant’s license for another 20 years despite these oppositions. A nuclear crisis at Pilgrim would pose a danger to millions of people who live within 50 miles of Pilgrim, including those in the city of Boston.