Good Thursday morning. Here’s a look at opinion content published today in The Journal News:
Indian Point: Editorial
We comment on news that Indian Point, the nuclear power plant in Buchanan, leads the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s list of U.S. plants facing the highest risk of suffering nuclear core damage from an earthquake. In the wake of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the resulting nuclear crisis there, Indian Point is on the minds of many. We write:
It was reassuring, in a small way, to hear the head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission tell White House reporters this week that the federal government would study the unfolding tragedy in Japan, where second-generation nuclear plants have been crippled by last week’s epic earthquake and resulting tsunami. NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko said investigators would look to see what lessons could be learned and “see if there are changes we need to make to our system,” whose plants generally are of the same vintage.
Perhaps less encouraging, at least to those who consider the Indian Point nuclear plants their neighbor, and who over the years have been fed a steady diet of assurances about their safety, security and reliability , was Jaczko’s unwillingness to comment on how U.S. plants would hold up under conditions that have left parts of Japan in ruin. “I don’t want to speculate on anything like that at this point,” Jaczko said. “At this point what I can say is, we have a strong safety program in place to deal with seismic events that are likely to happen at any facility in this country.”
New Yorkers, of course, have an abiding interest in the Buchanan plants, whose owner is in the thick of a high-stakes review aimed at having their operating licenses extended beyond their respective 2013 and 2015 expiration dates. For many in the region, the long-running federal review has been an abstraction, a droning war over science, mainly pitting environmentalists against Entergy, the plants’ owner; the nuclear power industry; and those whose jobs are directly tied to the plants’ future. The peril in Japan, as it should, invites a fresh assessment — including of the now decades-old assumptions that allowed — and continue to allow — nuclear plants to be built in such heavily populated areas, including the Hudson Valley. …
The legislature and Astorino: Reisman
Phil Reisman comments on the ongoing feud between the Democrats who control the Westchester County Board of Legislators and County Executive Rob Astorino. The latest chapter in their fracas involves the termination of an administrative Section 8 contract with the state. He writes:
… This insiders’ battle has been brewing for many weeks, but has now gone beyond the point of insanity.
Judging from the heat generated by this dispute, you might think that it has something to do with the curtailment of rent subsidies for low-income apartment dwellers.
It has nothing do with that.
No one in Westchester has lost, or will lose, rental assistance under the Section 8 program.
This has to do with outsized egos and raw, political ambition. It has needlessly wasted time and money and promises to waste even more. …
Ramapo ballpark: Commentary
Michael Castelluccio, editor of Preserve Ramapo, poses a number of questions about the minor-league baseball stadium being constructed in Ramapo.
New Rochelle train station: Commentary
Harrin K. Platzner, a resident of New Rochelle, bemoans the city council’s decision to shut public bathrooms at the city’s train station.
Lessons from Japan: Editorial, Albany Times Union
More transparency essential for Albany: Editorial, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Get the state budget done: Editorial, Daily News
World must share nuclear data: Editorial Newsday