After a long journey, filled with a lot of new information, not only about Indian Point Energy Center but also about nuclear power in general, Tucker and I have completed a cut of our documentary for the class. This cut is only five minutes long and our work is certainly not over. We have hours of information about Indian Point and the nuclear power process from a variety of experts including Dr. Irwin Redlener director of Columbia’s Center for Natural Disaster Preparedness, Arthur Ginsberg, an ex-engineer at Indian Point, and Physician’s for Social Responsibility board member Alfred Meyer. We would like to continue to work on building this documentary and adjusting it to fit the issue as the debate evolves. The issue of Indian Point remains to be a current issue locally and the debate over nuclear power as a resource remains contested nationally and globally.
Issues We Researched:
Some of the most interesting, and unexpected issues we learned about during our research and interview processes were
• The Algonquian Pipeline and the issues with its expansion so close to Indian Point.
• The effects of thermal-pollution on surrounding aquatic environments.
• In depth knowledge about the inner workings of nuclear power plants, including how they have evolved over time and the various safeguards installed.
• The history of Indian Point and the activist movement against it.
• Nuclear Power as compared to other forms of harnessing energy such as solar power, oil, and natural gas.
Arthur Ginsberg, an ex employee of Indian Point, drew Tucker and me a diagram of the closed circuits within a nuclear power point.
Tucker and I went to Peekskill to see Indian Point’s proximity to the Hudson river for ourselves. Tucker couldn’t resist the selfie.
We saw the power plant from pretty close up, our ability to reach the plant so easily sparked our curiosity about the possibility about Indian Point as a possible terrorist target.
Tucker attended and participated in a rally by the activist group SAPE (Stop Algonquian Pipeline Expansion) and noticed the very small amount of young individuals protesting.
Through our research, in particular our interview with Alfred Meyer, we discovered that Indian Point rests upon not one but two (Stamford-Peekskill and Ramapo) fault lines.
Initially Tucker and I were inspired to do our final project on the Indian Point Energy Center (Nuclear Power Plant) when Alfred Meyer came in to discuss the issue with our class. The more research we did on the power plant the more interested (and upset) Tucker and I became about the issue. After our interview with Alfred, Tucker and I were led to some interesting sources including the group SAPE. Through this exposure to activist groups we realized that we were not the only ones who were upset by this issue. But it would’ve been too easy to round up these activists and make a documentary arguing against Indian Point with their semi-credible knowledge.
So we looked for sources who could help us understand the multi-faceted debate surrounding Indian Point. I contacted several individuals from both the NYU Langone Medical Center and the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. One source who was especially helpful in steering me in the right direction was Lorcan Folan, an engineer at Tandon who put me in touch with Dr. Redlener and Arthur Ginsberg. Dr. Redlener, director for Colombia’s Center for Natural Disaster Preparedness, gave me great insight as to how a problem at Indian Point could affect the entire surrounding community and coastal areas. Arthur Ginsberg was a very essential source as he spent 36 years of his life working for Indian Point in various positions from managing the control center to acting as one of the head engineers. He told Tucker and I about some of the inner workings of the plant such as their emergency plans and the training required to work at Indian Point. He also provided a counter-view that was in favor of the re-licensing of Indian Point and the continued use of nuclear power.
Tucker and I learned an incredible amount on this journey. But we do not plan to end the project here.
Arthur Ginsberg has discussed with us the possibility of visiting the facilities at Indian Point Energy Center, and we intend to take him up on this offer. We have an ample amount of footage to continue editing and we intend to stay informed on the still developing issues. We would like to eventually have a cut to send to film festivals and to organizations that could use our film to educate and empower others.
We hope that you join us in saying no to extractive industries and fighting for a cleaner, safer energy future!