Washington D.C.
CONTACT:   Paul Leventhal 202-822-8444 

Garrison NY
CONTACT: Alex Matthiessen  845-424-4149; 914-299-9009

For Immediate Release
Thursday, December 13, 2001


            The FBI report announced today by New York Public Security Director James Kallstrom makes clear that there is still a need to bolster security at the Indian Point nuclear power plant,  and it thus reinforces demands for immediate shutdown of the plant, said the Nuclear Control Institute and Hudson Riverkeeper, the lead organizations in a petition drive for the plant's closure. 

            "Despite Kallstrom's conclusion that 'local residents should rest easy' following the FBI review, the fact that the FBI is making several recommendations to shore up security at Indian Point means that Indian Point today is inadequately defended against a terrorist attack," said Alex Matthiessen, Executive Director of Hudson Riverkeeper.  "A further cause for concern is the statement by Entergy, owner of the Indian Point plant, that it has begun to implement 'a majority' but not all of the FBI recommendations." 

            Paul Leventhal, president of the Nuclear Control Institute, noted that one of the FBI recommendations was for more frequent testing of the security forces at Indian Point---something NCI has been advocating for all of the nation's 103 operating nuclear power plants.  "Given the post 9/11 threat, we don't have the luxury of time for the FBI and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to get their act together," Leventhal said. "Indian Point should be shut down right now for an overhaul of protective measures and should not be started up again unless the new defenses can be demonstrated in mock terrorist exercises to be able to repel a large attack force coming from several different directions.  Nearly half the nation's nuclear power plants have failed to repel a relatively  small number of  mock terrorists attacking from one direction." 

            Hudson Riverkeeper and Nuclear Control Institute have filed a petition with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission demanding immediate shutdown of Indian Point because of lax security and the catastrophic consequences for the 20 million people living and working within a 50-mile radius of the plant in the event of  a successful terrorist attack.  Many public officials and civic organizations have signed on to the petition. 

            The two organizations also questioned whether the FBI was the best agency to evaluate Indian Point security.  "The FBI is a law enforcement agency, not a specialist on nuclear plant security," Leventhal said.  "The most qualified is the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  They are the ones who referee the mock terrorist drills supervised by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and also test security at U.S. nuclear weapons plant sites." 

            Said Matthiessen: "Kallstrom should be consulting with the experts from Ft. Bragg before coming to any conclusions about the adequacy of security at Indian Point."