Testimony by Carl Lundgren at NRC Hearing
Testimony by Carl Lundgren at the NRC hearing in Tarrytown, NY 5/17/2012
Good evening. My name is Carl Lundgren. I’m Chair of the Bronx County Green Party; I’m on the steering committee of the grassroots activist organization Shut Down Indian Point Now; I’m a member of the Environmentalist Solidarity Working Group of Occupy Wall Street; and I’ll be the Green Party candidate for New York State Senate in District 34, covering parts of the Bronx and Westchester.
I’m not going to thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to give testimony. I find that notion repulsive. We’re here today because it’s our right as citizens to address you. It’s not a privilege. We’re here today to make damn sure you know what we think and what we demand.
I’m also not here to speak rationally and present facts, figures and statistics designed to sway your decision in whether or not to decommission Indian Point. In fact, I’m not here to try to convince the commissioners of anything at all. These hearings are more an exercise in futility than of any practical utility. I’m here to speak to my fellow citizens and neighbors to urge them to demand the closing of Indian Point through our elected officials, and if they’re unable or unwilling to represent us, then we’ll decommission them on Election Day.
No, I’m not here to speak rationally. I’m here as an irrational, emotional and fearful human being who knows instinctively when danger is present and disaster imminent. A disaster at Indian Point isn’t just a possibility. As time goes on it becomes inevitable. It ain’t about the if, it’s all about the when. This facility needs to be shut down immediately. I read an article on line just last evening from a publication out of Bristol England talking about the decommissioning in 2008 of the Oldbury Nuclear facility. The article talked about how, even with the shut down, it will be nearly a hundred years before the site will actually be cleaned up and permanently closed. Good news for the economy! There will be jobs at the plant for generations to come!
I continue to be baffled by the cognitive dissonance exhibited by people in government and industry when it comes to health and safety, as if only theoretical problems exist and they themselves will be spared in the event of a real emergency; as if they and their loved ones won’t be affected. Are you all so enmeshed in those facts and figures (that I detest so much) that you’ve lost your basic humanity? I, for one, don’t think the loss of or threat to even one human life is acceptable for any reason, especially for no other purpose than profit. The threat to the environment, now matter how improbable, is not impossible, and therefore must not be acceptable.
Regulations and laws, safeguards and evacuation plans are meaningless in a society where litigation can render them impotent, as they languish in the court system for years, while real dangers and threats continue to mount.
So, now that I’ve spoken as the irrational human I am, you, and the elected officials and, the various “rational” organizations can return to your wrangling, head butting and compromising while the ticking time bomb in our backyards continues it’s countdown.
My hope is that ordinary citizens – the 99% , the irrational – will no longer find this way of doing business acceptable, and will begin to demand more of all of you, as well as of ourselves, to do more for our own health, safety, sustainability and survival.