BUCHANAN-While a grassroots effort has been launched to shut down the Indian Point nuclear power plant complex due to security concerns, the New York State Office of Public Security reported Thursday that the FBI has submitted its recommendations on bolstering security at the complex to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the plant owner Entergy, and the state.

“We have worked diligently with federal and state counter-terrorism experts to complete a top-to-bottom security assessment at Indian Point,” says James Kallstrom, director of the New York State Office of Public Security. “At the onset of the review, based on my experience with the FBI, I believed the security at the plant was robust, and our findings do not suggest otherwise. However, we have advanced a series of recommendations to bolster the overall security in light of the events of Sept. 11.”

The plant owner, Entergy has already begun to implement a majority of the safety measures recommended in the report, according to Kallstrom, who was formerly the head of the FBI Office in New York City.

Some of the issues addressed in the report include:

  • More frequent testing of the security forces at Indian Point, perhaps augmented with the assistance of the FBI. The FBI has offered their trainers to train the Indian Point security force.
  • Better integration and coordination among law enforcement agencies that have jurisdiction of Indian Point, including security forces at Indian Point 2 and 3. The FBI has agreed to play an active role in coordinating response plans among the various law enforcement agencies and will drill with them periodically.

    The State Office of Public Security was established in October to bolster the state’s anti-terrorism efforts. The Indian Point security assessment was one of the first initiatives undertaken by the agency.

    Security issues at the Indian Point facility since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. has some communities located nearby the plant to call for the immediate shutdown of the complex.

    An “Anti-Indian Point Coalition” has circulated a resolution calling for the plant shutdown and thus far has obtained approvals from a number of municipal boards and one school district. The communities that have supported the coalition include: South Nyack, Stony Point, Greenburgh, Dobbs Ferry, Pound Ridge, Hastings, North Salem, North Castle, Croton, Bedford and Irvington. In addition, the Croton School Board has also signed the resolution, while Yorktown has approved a measure with different wording, according to Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, a member of the coalition.

    One elected official that will not be joining the coalition at the moment is Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano. After a 45-minute conference call Spano and other area elected officials had with Kallstrom Thursday, Spano says he is confident all security measures already put in place and those planned will help “make Indian Point the best protected and most secure nuclear facility in the nation.”

    Spano adds, “According to Kallstrom, Indian Point is also the strongest and best engineered plant of any in nation, and while there are differences of opinion as to whether a 747 jet can penetrate the containment area of any nuclear plant, I rely on Kallstrom’s opinion that the chances of that occurring here are very remote if at all, based on Indian Point’s structure and design.”

    Therefore, Spano says that he will not join in the efforts to close down the plant. but work to making the evacuation plan, in case of a disaster, better.

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