During the Indian Point Energy Center 2016 refueling, the Manhattan-based chapter of the North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN-New York) organized participation of members and affiliates on three tours. One of the two reactors was shut down during the tours. After hours of lessons on radiation and the various parts of the plant, the groups got to observe first-hand the components inside one of the containment vessels along with other components such as the steam turbines and generators.
The group gained a strong appreciation for the redundancy in security and safety measures the plant takes to protect its workers and the surrounding environment. Dr. Jonathan Chanis, a professor at the Columbia School of International Public Affairs (SIPA), who joined the tour said:
“The Columbia University trip to Indian Point was a wonderful opportunity for students to see a nuclear plant in operation. It allowed the students to assess the sophistication and safety of the facility and to place the plants contribution to regional energy security and pricing in a clear context. Being able to talk with the people who ran the facility, and to see the plant location within the neighboring community, humanized the issue of nuclear power. The plant staff were able to honestly and frankly address the many questions raised by the students and it gave the group a better appreciation of the issues involved with nuclear power. Often one good site visit, which allows people to see something for themselves, is worth more than several years of reading about an issue in books and journals.”
Besides NAYGN-NY, other organizations represented on the tour included the Columbia School of International Public Affairs and the New York University (NYU) Sustainability department. NAYGN – NY will be organizing additional tours of IPEC in the summer or fall of 2016. IPEC currently supplies approximately 25% of the electricity in New York City and Westchester County in a way that is clean, reliable, and affordable. It is for these reasons that NAYGN-New York advocates for the continued safe operation of Indian Point Energy Center.