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Potential catastrophic consequences that could be unleashed by a terrorist attack at Indian Point

As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks draws near, it is sobering and enlightening to remember a 2004 report written by Dr. Ed Lyman at Union of Concerned Scientists. Entitled "Chernobyl on the Hudson? The Health and Economic Impacts of a Terrorist Attack at the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant," the report concludes that despite a successful evacuation, up to 44,000 early fatalities would still be possible due to catastrophic radioactivity releases. Similarly, "over 500,000 latent cancer fatalities could occur under certain meteorological conditions." In addition, "The economic impact and disruption for New York City residents resulting from a terrorist attack on Indian Point could be immense, involving damages from hundreds of billions to trillions of dollars, and the permanent displacement of millions of individuals. This would dwarf the impacts of the September 11 attacks." Although Riverkeeper, the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition, and even New York Governor Cuomo continue to oppose Indian Point's 20 year license extension, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission appears poised to approve it, as it has more than 70 other license extensions at atomic reactors across the U.S.