The Independent Safety Assessment for Indian Point Petition sign now

Do you agree with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rep. Maurice Hinchey, Rep. John Hall, the Republican-led Putnam County Legislature, the Beacon City Council, our County Legislature's Minority Leader Roger Higgins, and many others across the Hudson Valley that an Independent Safety Assessment should be conducted at Indian Point?

If you do, please sign on to this petition and pass it along to all you know.

Feel free to also contact our County Legislature on this at [email protected]; our County Legislature's Minority Leader Roger Higgins has agreed to co-sponsor the resolution I drafted on this [similar to the one below that passed the Beacon City Council unanimously (incl. Republican Mayor Clara Lou Gould) last August]; Co. Leg. Rick Keller-Coffey has also expressed a strong interest in this.

Scroll down a bit to see crucial information from Riverkeeper.org on how Indian Point's energy is quite replaceable with renewable sources; recall the National Academy of Sciences' report on this last year as well (see below; also see IPSECinfo.org).

"...legislation has been introduced in both Houses of the US Congress, by
Senator Hillary Clinton, Representatives Sue Kelly, Nita Lowey, Elliot Engel, Maurice
Hinchey and Christopher Shays, that mandates the NRC to conduct a Maine Yankee style
ISA on the vital systems of Indian Point and require FEMA to justify, with specificity, its
approval of the IP evacuation plan despite the findings of the 2003 Witt Report..."

-- from text of resolution passed unanimously on this by Beacon City Council last August

For more information on how the Republican-led Putnam County Legislature passed a resolution calling for an Independent Safety Assessment for Indian Point click here:
http://planputnam.blogspot.com/2007/02/putnam-legislature-passes-ip-resolution.html .

Fact: Local infant deaths and childhood cancer rates go way down when nuclear reactors are shut down; see: http://www.radiation.org/spotlight/reactorclosings.html .

[Recall as well-- even then-Republican-led Ulster County Legislature passed strong resolution for Indian Point to not be relicensed by Nuclear Regulatory Commission; see:
http://www.chronogram.com/issue/2005/11/communitynotebook/sustainability.php .]

Don't forget-- the Dutchess County Democratic Committee passed a strong resolution last year for Indian Point to be decommissioned.

Don't forget-- even the late great former Republican County Legislator and Clinton Town Boardmember spoke out strongly for Indian Point to be shut down; Scenic Hudson, Clearwater, Riverkeeper all strong on this as well for many years...see http://www.CloseIndianPoint.org .

Joel Tyner
County Legislator
Clinton/Rhinebeck
324 Browns Pond Road
Staatsburg, NY 12580
[email protected]
RealMajorityProject.blogspot.com
(845) 876-2488

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"Hold Indian Point to Exacting Test"
[Poughkeepsie Journal editorial February 18th]
http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070218/OPINION01/702180307

Let's start with a single premise: Considering its close proximity to major population areas - including the mid-Hudson Valley and New York City - the Indian Point nuclear power plant should be held to the highest standards imaginable if it is going to continue to operate.

The facility has been plagued by assorted problems over the years, ranging from failures of its warning notification system, to inadequate evacuation plans, to leaks of radioactive water found in the soil adjacent to a pool that holds spent fuel rods.

Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano has repeatedly called for the plant to be shut down. Several municipalities have passed resolutions demanding this action as well. Safety concerns have been greatly compounded since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Nevertheless, Entergy Nuclear Northeast, the company that owns the power plant, recently announced it would seek federal approval to operate the facility for 20 more years. The plant has two active reactors - Indian Point 2 and Indian Point 3. Those permits are set to expire in 2013 and 2015, respectively. Entergy wants them extended through 2035.

But a group of New York's congressional delegation is saying "not so fast.'' They want a rigorous independent safety assessment of the plant before the licenses are removed, and that makes abundant sense.

U.S. Rep. John Hall, D-Dover, put the matter bluntly: "Indian Point is the nation's most problematic power plant in the nation's most densely populated corridor.'' He noted that 8 percent of the U. S. population resides within a 50-mile radius of the plant. Hall and others want an independent safety assessment within six months. They say a 25-member team should be appointed, along with a five-member citizens review team to ensure public accountability. They insist any recommended repairs or actions must be taken care of before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission reviews the licenses.

That commission oversees the 103 working nuclear plants in the U.S. and has resisted attempts to individualize re-licensing criteria. But Congress has the ability to alter Indian Point's re-licensing requirements, and it should do so. U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley, and others have taken up this fight before. Now, more political voices are joining the call. They should keep up the pressure for the most stringent of reviews.

Saddled with ill-conceived siting

Indian Point 2 was considered the most unsafe and worst run of the nation's 103 nuclear power plants when Entergy bought the Buchanan-based complex in 2001. To its credit, Entergy has worked to remove that dubious distinction, though there is no ignoring the problems that have persisted, nor is there any getting around Indian Point's dangerous location. Nationwide, most nuclear facilities are in rural areas, away from major cities.

In hindsight, Indian Point never should have been located where it is. But shutting it down now is far more complicated than opponents are apt to believe, or at least state publicly. For one, the plants produce enough electricity to meet more than 20 percent of the daily consumption in the Hudson Valley and New York City areas; that energy isn't easily replaced. While federal and state governments need to work with innovative businesses to bring more alternative fuels to the market, that won't happen overnight. Moreover, nuclear power is actually less harmful to certain aspects of the environment than coal-burning plants. There also is the long-term question of what to do with the spent fuel rods, something the federal government has failed to address on a nationwide basis.

While progress must be made on these issues, the plant's safety features must be exacting in the meantime. The public must have confidence in how the facility is being operated - and regulated by the government. Representatives in Washington are right to insist on a far-reaching independent review.

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From the February 12th Poughkeepsie Journal...

Momentum builds for safety review at Indian Point
http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070212/NEWS04/70212038


CORTLANDT - Local lawmakers led by U.S. Rep John Hall, D-Dover will back a proposed law to require the Indian Point nuclear power plant to undergo an "in-depth, intensive and rigorous inspection" by a team of government experts and independent analysts.

Members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators plan to bolster the freshman Democrat by passing a resolution in support of his bill.

The county will also call on newly elected Democrats Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to support the bill.

Hall said the bill will go beyond previous legislation to require the plant to comply with the ISA recommendations or be denied a license extension in 2013. The standard for compliance will go beyond standard Nuclear Regulatory Commission review for re-licensing to create a more in depth assessment of potential problems with the Indian Point Energy Center, he said.

The bill will also establish the composition of a 25 member ISA team and a five member Citizens Review Team to ensure public accountability. The bill is also specifically targeted at Indian Point and does not apply to other facilities.

"Indian Point is the nation's most problematic power plant in the nation's most densely populated corridor," Hall said in a news release. "With 8 percent of the population of the United States within a 50 mile radius of the plant, our bill forces the NRC to give this plant the special attention it requires. This bill will force Entergy to do what it takes to run Indian Point safely or they won't be able to run it at all."

U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley, is also supporting the legislation, along with other members of New York's congressional delegation.

"It's pretty clear that the vast majority of New York residents are troubled about the safety of Indian Point and unfortunately those concerns are not unwarranted," Hinchey said in a news release. "From trouble with alarms at the plant to known leaks of radioactive material, Indian Point is not functioning properly, which is why we need a comprehensive Independent Safety Assessment. This measure is improved from the one we introduced last year and will help identify the steps we need to take to help safeguard New Yorkers from the nuclear power plant that is their neighbor."

The bill would:

Require the completion of an Independent Safety Assessment at Indian Point within 6 months of passage

Require the Independent Safety Assessment to be completed and any recommended repairs or actions to be fully implemented prior to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission renewal of Indian Point's license

Require the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Department of Homeland Security to complete a detailed evaluation of the radiological emergency plan for Indian Point.

Specify that the assessment will be conducted by a 25-member team composed of 16 NRC officials not from NRC Region 1, six independent contractors, and three state appointees.

Specify that the assessment will be monitored by a four-member Observation Group appointed by New York, as well as a Citizens' Review Team composed of five individuals appointed by the state, with one resident from each Emergency Planning Zone county - Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam counties.

Authorize $10 million to carry out the assessment.

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From: "Thomas Baldino" [email protected]>
Subject: Independent Safety Assessment resolutions

Below is the one that Beacon passed:

August 7, 2006

Resolution No. 99 of 2006 - Supporting an Independent Safety Assessment of the Indian Point
Nuclear Power Plant. Read by City Administrator, Joseph Braun.

WHEREAS, Entergy is the owner and operator of two nuclear power plants, Indian
Point 2 and Indian Point 3, located in Buchanan, New York, and

WHEREAS, The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is the federal regulatory
agency overseeing, regulating and licensing IP2 and IP3, and

WHEREAS, the NRC has the power and authority to mandate an Independent Safety
Assessment (ISA) of IP2 and IP3, and

WHEREAS, the NRC, in spite of the problems and safety issues experienced by IP2 and
IP3, has refused to mandate an ISA of IP2 and IP3, and

WHEREAS, legislation has been introduced in both Houses of the US Congress, by
Senator Hillary Clinton, Representatives Sue Kelly, Nita Lowey, Elliot Engel, Maurice
Hinchey and Christopher Shays, that mandates the NRC to conduct a Maine Yankee style
ISA on the vital systems of Indian Point and require FEMA to justify, with specificity, its
approval of the IP evacuation plan despite the findings of the 2003 Witt Report, and

WHEREAS, the Attorneys General of New York and Connecticut support this
legislation as well as the NY Comptroller Alan Hevesi, and

WHEREAS, taking into consideration the historical safety record of Indian Point, the
current uncontrolled and uncorrected leaks of radioactive materials as compared to the
health and safety of Beacon residents, now therefore it is

RESOLVED, that the Beacon City Council supports the legislation currently before
Congress that mandates the Independent Safety Assessment of IP2 and IP3 which would
1) include a "vertical slice" review of all operating systems,
2) include a "horizontal" review of all plant maintenance,
3) be conducted by independent experts,
4) be monitored by local officials, and
5) include a rigorous re-evaluation of the feasibility of the evacuation plan for Indian
Point;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the citizens of Beacon, because of their
proximity to Indian Point, deserve to have a clear and accurate assessment of any and all
safety problems or issues that are currently known or may be discovered at Indian Point;
and that these issues be presented to the public in a timely manner after discovery.
Motion to Support Independent Safety Assessment of Indian Point: Council Member Thompson.
Seconded: Council Member Kyriacou

City of Beacon Council Meeting Minutes - August 7, 2006 Page 8 of 22

Council Member Kyriacou: I would appreciate if at a workshop, we can look at the assessment done in 1996 that was mentioned by Tom Baldino this evening.
On a Roll Call: All voted in favor. Motion carried.

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From Riverkeeper.org...

Indian Point: Reenergize New York!

Indian Point Power is Replaceable, Concludes National Academies Study

On June 6, 2006 the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released its long awaited study Alternatives to the Indian Point Energy Center for Meeting New York Electric Power Needs. The report, prepared with funding secured by New York Congresswoman Nita Lowey, concludes that the electricity produced by Indian Point is replaceable and New York has a ready supply of alternative energy sources at its disposal to ensure energy reliability without Indian Point in the energy pool. The report states that the committee has identified no technical obstacles that it believes present insurmountable barriers to the replacement of Indian Points capacity, energy, and ancillary servicesif a decision were definitely made to close all or some part of Indian Point by a date certain, the committee anticipates that a technically feasible replacement strategy for Indian Point would be achievable. This replacement strategy would focus on three key areas; investing in improving conservation and energy efficiency, improving the transmission infrastructure for southeast New York, and increasing generation capacity to replace some of Indian Points 2,000 MW.

The study also acknowledges the political and regulatory challenges that must be met in order to make the transition to a clean, safe energy future without Indian Point. Chief among these is the renewal of Article X, state law that established an expedited permitting process for siting and building new power plants. Article X expired on January 1, 2003. While it was in force, it provided a centralized, expedited process of environmental permitting for new power plants, based on a one year review period once an application is received. The applications were reviewed by officials from the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The ultimate decision to grant a construction and operating permit was made by a board made up of officials from PSC, DEC, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and other state agencies, as well as two citizens who reside near the proposed facility. Despite the short decision period, there are multiple opportunities for public comment, both written and at public hearings. In addition, local municipalities and individuals within a five mile radius of the facility were granted automatic intervenor status. The board reviewing the application considered a wide range of environmental, economic and social impacts before making their decision. In the absence of Article X, electric power plant developers must obtain all the necessary permits separately, rather than an integrated permit under Article X, as well as undergoing a lengthy environmental review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). The NAS study recommends renewing Article X with some modifications, including developing procedures to address the expansion or repowering of existing plants. Repowering refers to the modification of older, dirtier power plants to burn cleaner fossil fuels, such as natural gas, more efficiently. For example, an older coal-burning plant with outdated pollution technology could be repowered into a combined cycle natural gas plant that operates twice as efficiently and contributes less air pollutants and greenhouse gases to the environment.

The NAS study analyzed the replacement of Indian Point under two timeframes. The first assumed retiring Indian Point 2 and 3 in the next three to five years, from 2008-2010. Under this scenario, the study found it would be very difficult to maintain the reliability of the electrical grid based on current and future electricity demand, and would result in a loss of reserve capacity that is needed in case of unplanned plant shutdowns or extremely high demand during peak summer hours. On the other hand, the second timeframe yielded much more favorable results. If Indian Point 2 and 3 were retired at the end of their current operating licenses in 2013 and 2015, respectively, there would be no major disruption of power capacity for the New York metropolitan region, based on several conditions being met. Basically, sufficient resources would have to be added to the regional electric system to cover the growth in demand and the retirement of older plants, including Indian Point. The study found that 5,000 to 5,500 MW of additional resources would be needed and could be available from a combination of new generation, conservation and efficiency initiatives and transmission upgrades. The report makes it clear that approximately 3,300 MW of new resources must be found whether Indian Point is retired or not. This highlights the critical need for a comprehensive, statewide energy policy that will address the upcoming energy crunch in a progressive, environmentally responsible manner.

In outlining the details of a successful replacement strategy, the NAS panel emphasized the importance of improving the transmission infrastructure in this region. For example, a proposed north to south direct transmission line could bring 1,000 MW of electricity from upstate New York and Canada to southeast New York, and could be completed between 2010-2015. This type of upgrade would help relieve the bottleneck that currently hinders the transmission of surplus upstate electricity to the downstate region where demand is higher.
Conservation measures, otherwise referred to as demand-side options can be implemented to lower demand and increase efficiency. The report notes that substantial cost-effective opportunities exist for investment in demand side technologies that could reduce the demand for electricity in southeast New York, and predicts that demand could be reduced by 1100 MW by 2010, and 1700 MW by 2015. While these are ambitious goals, the report finds they are achievable, if sufficient resources are allocated to design and implement effective programs in the next several years.

Additional generation of electricity to offset the loss of Indian Point would likely come from single cycle and combined cycle natural gas plants, as well as expansion of renewable energy sources such as offshore wind power and distributed solar (photovoltaic).

This independent study proves, once and for all, that the New York metropolitan area can make the transition to a cleaner, safer energy future that does not include the Indian Point nuclear power plant. With the right combination of political will and citizen participation this vision can become a reality in the next five to seven years.

To review the complete NAS report on Indian Point, go to http://newton.nap.edu/catalog/11666.html

Wind Power

According to a December 2006 report by the American Wind Association, New York has 280 megawatts of wind power currently installed, with an additional 110.75 megawatts under construction. Ranking 15th in the country, New York State has the capacity to produce 7,080 megawatts of wind power.

The Basics: Wind power is produced by wind turbines that harness the winds energy. Wind turbines typically have two or three airfoil blades. These blades produce electricity by turning a rotor, which drives a generator. Energy production increases with the length of the blades, which are usually over 80 feet long. Turbines are mounted on towers over 100 feet tall in order to capture the higher wind speed at increased altitudes.

Costs and Benefits: The cost of wind power has decreased in recent years with new developments in technology. Wind power is a local and inexhaustible resource that has both economic and ecological benefits. Buying local wind power supports your local economy by creating jobs and industry, and also helps decrease dependence on foreign oil. Wind power does not produce air or water emissions and does not contribute to air pollution, acid rain, or global warming.

Electric users can support wind power buy purchasing wind certificates from a variety of power providers:

Community Energy/New Wind Energy New Wind Energy derives its power from newly developed wind sources. Customers may purchase wind certificates to cover their monthly energy usage. Each wind certificate represents 100kwh of clean energy supplied to the grid.

ConEd Solutions ConEd Solutions works with Community Energy and New Wind Energy to resell clean energy at competitive rates and includes a number of electricity-buying options with fixed and variable rates. Businesses can work with ConEd Solutions to incorporate up to 100\% of their electricity usage into the power grid with clean power supply.

Energy Cooperative of New York Energy Cooperative derives its energy from wind and landfill gas recovery. It is a non-profit organization that sells renewable energy for $.011 cents per kwh more than conventional electricity.

Solar Power

There are many myths about solar power, but one of the greatest myths is that there just isn't enough sunlight in New York for the systems to be sustainable. Not true. New York receives the equivalent of 70\% of the sun's rays that sunny San Diego does due to our coastal weather pattern. The cost of solar power is on a steady decline, especially since California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger launched the Million Solar Roof Initiative in August 2006. With government rebates and loan incentives, solar panels are not only affordable and environmentally-friendly ways to generate your electricity -- they also increase the value of your home or building.

The Basics: Only a miniscule fraction about a hundredth of a millionth of a percent of the suns energy hits the earth. Yet, every minute, this is enough energy to meet the earths power needs for an entire year. Recent developments in technology allow us to harness this clean form of energy through various solar power systems. Solar power can be collected both directly and indirectly to produce heat, light, electricity, hot water, and cooling. The following are examples of systems used to capture solar energy.

Concentrating Solar Power systems are part of a new type of power plants that use the sun as a heat source. Heat is needed in many power plants to boil water, which rotates a turbine that activates a generator, creating electricity. However, in most plants, fossil fuels, which emit the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, and uranium, the radioactive substance used in nuclear plants, are used as a heat source. Concentrating Solar Power systems provide a clean and safe way of producing electricity by collecting solar energy.

Passive Solar refers to the use of building design to heat and cool a building. Passive solar buildings are typically made of special materials that absorb, transmit, or reflect heat. Window placement and building orientation also help create desirable heating and cooling effects. Because passive solar designs can both heat a building in the winter and cool it in the summer, they help reduce the buildings dependence on other sources of energy and lower energy bills.

Photovoltaic Solar systems use photovoltaic cells, or solar cells, to convert sunlight directly into electricity. They are often used in calculators and watches. Today technology has made it possible to harness larger amounts of energy from solar cells. They can now be used in homes and offices as rooftop shingles and tiles, and building facades.

Solar Hot Water is a system of using the suns energy to heat water. Solar hot water reduces the need for conventional water heating by two-thirds, helping to lower expensive energy bills (water heating is the third largest expense in the average Americans home). There are both passive and active solar water heating systems, which either heat water or a transfer fluid stored in collectors. This system can be used in homes as well as large commercial and industrial buildings.

Solar Process Heat is a solar system used in industrial and commercial buildings to produce large amounts of hot water, space heating, or cooling. In solar process, a solar ventilation system provides preheated ventilated air to maintain healthy indoor air quality. This system saves energy and money, as a great deal of energy is required to heat large quantities of air.

Resources:

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has cash incentives available for the installation of small PV or solar electric systems. The cash incentives are only available for PV systems purchased through an eligible installer. NYSERDA's New York Energy $martSM initiative currently has several programs that, when combined with the PV cash incentives, could help offset the total installation costs of a PV system by 40-70\%.


The Solar Center has offices in New Jersey and Westchester County. Technicians will provide estimates for solar systems on homes and businesses. The Solar Center also holds workshops for the public to learn more about solar energy.


Solar 1 is the City's first solar-powered Green Energy, Arts, and Education Center, inspires New Yorkers to become environmentally responsible city dwellers. They offer seminars, workshops, cultural events, and school programming.

Biomass & Biofuels

The Basics: Biomass refers to converting biological products (wood, plant materials, etc.) into energy. The energy produced by biomass is clean and helps to lower greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. Biomass is the only liquid transportation fuel currently available, so it also helps reduce our dependency on foreign oil. There are three different uses for biomass: fuels, power production, and products.

Biofuels are made of biomass converted into liquid fuels. There are two types of biofuels, ethanol and biodiesel. Ethanol is the same form of alcohol as found in wine and beer, and is used as a fuel additive to increase octane and lower emissions in vehicles. Biodiesel is a combination of methanol, another form of alcohol, and vegetable oil, animal fat, or recycled cooking oil. It can be used as an additive to decrease emissions, or in its pure form as a renewable vehicle fuel in diesel engines.

Biopower refers to the generation of electricity from biomass. There are several systems of creating biopower, including direct firing, cofiring, gasification, pyrolysis, and anaerobic digestion. The most common system is direct-fired, which uses a process similar to that of many power plants today. However, biomass is burned instead of fossil fuels to create steam to activate the generator, which drastically reduces carbon dioxide emissions. It is also possible to use a mixture of biomass in fossil fuel plants, which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Bioproducts are products made from biomass. They are similar to products made from fossil fuels, such as plastics and chemicals. Some examples of bioproducts are antifreeze, plastics, glues, photographic films, textiles, wood adhesives, and foam insulation. Replacing plastics, such as silverware, with bioproducts, such as silverware made from corn, reduces waste and air pollution.

Resources

The Grist, an online environmental news and commentary website, has developed an extensive section devoted to biofuels, their uses, cost-benefit analyses, and other useful information.

Geothermal

The Basics: Geothermal energy is energy in the form of heat produced by the earth. Geothermal energy can be captured for heat, cooling, and electricity production.

"Direct Use" refers to using geothermal heat directly from geothermal energy sources. In this process, a well is dug in a geothermal reservoir, which provides hot water for heating buildings, drying crops, and for industrial and commercial purposes. Most geothermal reservoirs in the United States are located in the west, Hawaii, and Alaska.

Electricity Production Geothermal power plants are similar to most fossil fuel power plants, however; in a geothermal plant, steam replaces fossil fuels as the energy source. This steam is harvested from hot water reservoirs found a few miles below the earth. There are three types of geothermal power plants: dry steam, flash steam, and binary cycle. Only two locations in the United States provide geothermal steam; these are the Geysers in northern California, where geothermal plants are currently running, and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, where development is restricted.

Heat Pumps Geothermal heat pumps take advantage of the relative warmth of the ground to the air in the winter and the relative coolness of the ground to the air in the summer. Heat pump systems either pick up heat from the ground or release heat to the ground via a fluid that is circulated throughout the building. Heat pumps use a great deal less energy than conventional heating systems and are much more efficient, saving energy, money, and reducing air pollution. Heat pump systems can be constructed anywhere in the United States.

Hydropower

The Basics: Hydropower, also known as hydroelectric power, is the process of capturing the energy of flowing water to produce electricity.

Dams The most common method of harnessing a rivers energy is through dams. Dams release stored water from a reservoir to spin turbines, which run a generator that produces electricity.

Environmental Issues with Dams Although dams may appear to be a clean renewable energy system, they do create a host of social and environmental problems. For example, dams prevent fish from migrating upstream to spawn and also prohibit fish from going downstream to the ocean. Consequently, dams reduce fish populations and disrupt the fragile ecological balance of river ecosystems. Dams also impact water quality and flow, which in turn damages riparian (riverbank) habitats. Most evidently, the construction of dams causes extensive flooding, which destroys natural habitats.

Indigenous Peoples and Dams The extensive ecological destruction caused by dams has devastated the lives and cultures of many indigenous peoples, who depend on their environment for physical and spiritual survival. Globally, indigenous people have suffered the most from dam building, while receiving none of the benefits. Despite the success of outcries for improvement of international law and policies, dam builders and developers continue to construct ecologically destructive dams on indigenous land.

Tidal Currents In recent years, technologies have developed that place turbines in the water to capture the power of tidal currents. Instead of using a dam to release hydro-energy to spin turbines, turbines are placed at the bottoms of channels and tidal estuaries to harness tidal energy, which is transformed into electricity via a generator. While each project needs to be reviewed to understand what, if any, impacts it has on the surrounding environment and fisheries, it is promising in many parts of the world to be a clean, environmentally-friendly way to produce energy.

Right here in New York City, submerged turbines are being tested in New Yorks East River by the energy group, Verdant. This test is a part of a plan to construct a $20 million dollar turbine farm that would produce 10 MW of energy beginning in 2007.

Ocean Energy Even a small amount of the oceans heat could power the world. The ocean produces not only thermal (heat) energy, but also mechanical energy, which can be harnessed to produce electricity. Closed-cycle, open-cycle and hybrid systems turn the oceans heat into steam that rotates a turbine, in turn activating a generator that produces electricity. The oceans mechanical energy can be collected through dams, which convert tidal energy into electricity.









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