Nuclear Roulette in New York

Fiction or a plausible threat?

Suppose you’re a terrorist. While the rest of the world watched Fukushima unfold, you and your buddies watched the world.

“Imagine the attention we’d get,” you told the others, “if we could do that to New York!”

Fast forward eight months to Buchanan NY, forty miles north of NY City.

While a north wind gusts to 40 mph, you and the gang work to hijack three commercial flights, one each from Philly, Boston, and New York. Meanwhile (just in case), two lads take off from Sky Acres Airfield [in Duchess County] in a mid-sized plane packed with high explosives.

Amazingly, two hijacking attempts succeed. Both jets pulverize the Indian Point Nuclear Facility; the fuel from the second adds to the conflagration. Shattered and scattered, nuclear material emits high level radiation, which attaches to the smoke and wafts to twenty million Americans only an hour away.

Ever try to evacuate twenty million people simultaneously? Attempting to do so would ensure the public would be outdoors, exposed, and breathing heavily (from yelling and stress) just in time to inhale gobs of radiation.

Make believe or plausible?

According to a 2002 report (based on a computer model) by the Nuclear Energy Institute, which describes itself as “a policy organization of the nuclear energy and technologies industry and participates in both the national and global policy-making process,” the above scenario can’t happen. Nonetheless, Germany announced plans this April (2011) to test whether a commercial jet might wreak the damage I’ve described.

Laying aside industry denial, which bears a close resemblance to TEPCO’s former assurances that a major tsunami was highly unlikely to devastate the Fukushima Nuclear Facility [despite a tsunami expert’s objections], what about the coolant? In other words, might a jumbo jet landing on reactor cooling pumps affect their performance? At the very least, the above skit would unleash a ‘Fukushima’ in New York’s backyard. The consequences, however, could be far worse. William Pentland of Forbes Online describes the risks inherent in Indian Point as “Nuclear Roulette” (see the following).

…and New York has no viable plan for treating mass casualties due to high dose exposure to radiation. The city was offered one freely by the world’s foremost expert in radiation sickness along with a former NORAD adviser regarding medical options for treating mass casualties due to a nuclear attack, former Air Force Surgeon General P.K. Carlton. The NY committee charged with developing contingency plans for responding to such attacks refused to consider their proposal.

(see elsewhere on this blog: The Tragedy of Nuclear Hope Ignored)

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My thanks to William Pentland of Forbes Magazine for allowing me to comment in detail regarding the nuclear dangers New Yorkers face in his online article entitled, New York City’s Deadly Game of Nuclear Roulette.” Mr. Pentland further clarified this matter through his insightful replies.

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Twice a surrogate ‘stem cells’ spokesperson for the GW Bush White House, J. Perry Kelly ended his association with the political right over its distortion of global warming for short-sighted political and economic profit.

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~ by jperrykelly on April 17, 2011.

4 Responses to “Nuclear Roulette in New York”

  1. Trying to leave a comment.

  2. Interesting post, its scary to think that someone could do this, but its good to know that people are trying to figure out how to prevent it and if its plausible.

  3. Greetings, Oscar! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I look forward to more of your insights. Best regards! James

  4. […] the only viable emergency strategy for treating mass radiation casualties in the event of a nuclear disaster. However, those with the power to act to treat our service men or women or to protect the public […]

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