Cool Hand Nuke
Actor and race car driver Paul Newman and Eddie Wachs, also a racer, were guests of Indian Point as they got an on-the-ground look at the Buchanan, N.Y. nuclear power plant. The visit, arranged in-part by the Nuclear Energy Institute, was the result of Newman and Wachs’ interest in nuclear power as part of the solution to global climate change.
They were briefed by Entergy Nuclear President Mike Kansler and Site Vice President Fred Dacimo before they embarked on a walking tour of the facility.
Kansler explained to the famous racing duo that nuclear power is the largest emission-free energy source in the United States and Entergy is dedicated to reducing Carbon Dioxide emissions.
Newman questioned the group on the prospects for new nuclear construction and wondered how prepared the country was to produce the talent to run the next generation of plants. Bowman, who is on the board of a number of nuclear engineering programs, indicated that there has been a recent up surge in interest among young people in nuclear engineering programs but the construction and fabrication knowledge base has eroded over the years.
I recently toured the Indian Point nuclear plant and I expected to be shown safety and security at the plant. But what I saw exceeded my expectations. No Army or Navy base I’ve ever visited has been more armored and I couldn’t walk 30 feet inside the plant without swiping my key card to go through another security check point.
There was security at every turn, and the commitment to safety is clear. One worker told me his family lives very close to the plant, downwind even, and he is very comfortable because of the plant's commitment to safety.
During my tour of the plant, I was amazed that a generator that is the size of two or three rooms of my home can provide electricity for 1 million people without producing any greenhouse gas emissions.