Just 34 miles from Times Square in Manhattan sits the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. If a nuclear disaster ever occurred at the power plant, the results could be catastrophic for the Hudson River, the population of the New York metro area and the entire world, which depends on New York as a hub for business, finance, communications & many other fields.
Earlier this week, William Wegner, Staff Scientist and Jen Benson, Outreach Fellow, visited EF Academy New York representing RiverKeeper, New York’s clean water advocate. Students enrolled in IB Geography classes attended a presentation from the organization in preparation for the IB Internal Assessment in Geography. According to IB Geography teacher Rosalie Frison, who coordinated the event, students learned about Freshwater & Conflict issues in the Hudson River Valley and are beginning to formalize their thoughts as they prepare their research pursuits later in the academic year.
A major focus of the presentation was the aforementioned Indian Point Power Plant. The power plant opened in 1973 and has accumulated more than 2000 tons of nuclear waste. The plant also pulls in 2.3 billion gallons of river water a day into its cooling system – the very same water New York residents depend on. The plant was built near two known northeast fault lines, creating potential for a natural disaster that could devastate the area. Almost 9 million people would be directly affected were something to happen to the Indian Point plant.
IB Y2 student Victoria Fibig commented, “It was eye-opening to see how the Hudson River has changed significantly in the past 50 years.” Victoria understands the danger the power plant could pose to the environment and spoke about how this was a concrete example to put into context their study of climate change and ecological balance in IB Geography. ”It is important that we do everything within our power to preserve the ecological balance of the Hudson. We might not see it now, but in the future, the deterioration of its health will have serious negative consequences on us all,” Fibig added.
RiverKeeper’s mission is to protect the environmental, recreation and commercial integrity of the Hudson River and its tributaries, and safeguard the drinking water of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents.