South Fork County Legislator Jay Schneiderman is calling for the county legislature to call for the Millstone nuclear power plant, just west of New London, Conn., to be shut down. The plant is about 30 miles from Southold.
In light of the recent nuclear disaster in Japan, Southold Town officials are planning to hold a public information session with Mr. Schneiderman, Legislator Ed Romaine, federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials and others to discuss evacuation procedures for Long Island and the possibility of shutting Millstone down.
Two-thirds of Fisher’s Island is within 10 miles of the nuclear plant. Orient is about 20 miles away. While the NRC does not mandate evacuation plans for areas farther than 10 miles from power plants, Southold’s own evacuation plans do take a disaster at Millstone into account, said Mr. Russell at Tuesday’s town board meeting.
“The irony in Japan is that the area of evacuation keeps expanding with each new day. It’s now 50 miles,” said Mr. Russell.
“This is going to be a fact-finding mission for us. I think the notion of closing it is unrealistic overnight, but it shouldn’t have taken a tsunami to say we’re not doing a good job” with nuclear safety in the United States, he said.
Members of the public applauded the board at its regular meeting Tuesday night for deciding to host the forum and asked that it be widely publicized. Not date for the forum has yet been set.
“Millstone has had several types of incidents,” said Mattituck resident Marie Domenici Tuesday night. “God forbid something happens there, we’re all dead. If you’re a farmer or a vineyard or any other business in the community, if that situation happens here, it’s all over for us.”
“As a result of the disaster in Japan, there as a greater awareness in this country about our nuclear regulations,” said Dan Durett of Greenport. “I’m not sure if this room would hold the number of people interested in attending.”