Shoreham Evacuation Plan; Staging Lilco's Nuclear Follies

By Grossman, Karl | The Nation, February 22, 1986 | Go to article overview

Shoreham Evacuation Plan; Staging Lilco's Nuclear Follies


Grossman, Karl, The Nation


SHOREHAM EVACUATION PLAN

Staging Lilco's Nuclear Follies

On February 13 the Administration of the actorPresident produced an extraordinary drama. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted a test to see if the area around Long Island Lighting Company's unpopular nuclear power plant at Shoreham, New York, could be safely evacuated. State and local officials refused to participate, so their parts were taken by stand-ins provided by the Los Angeles consulting firm Theodore Barry and Associates. Samuel Speck, FEMA associate director, denied charges by Suffolk County and other Shoreham opponents that a staged test didn't prove anything about the plant's safety. Evacuation drills, he explained, are "not meant to disrupt the public's normal routine."

The premise for the Shoreham drama came from a regulation promulgated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the wake of the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island. All new nuclear plants must have locally developed evacuation plans before they can receive a license to operate.

At Three Mile Island, as at most other nuclear power plants, people could escape in many directions in the event of a serious accident. But Long Island would be impossible to evacuate, according to a $650,000 study conducted by Suffolk County. Long Island's only direct links to the mainland are the crowded tunnels and bridges at its western end. Its main road, the six-lane east-west Long Island Expressway, usually lives up to comedians' description of it as the world's longest parking lot.

If there was a major accident at Shoreham, near the center of the island, people who live east of the plant would have the choice of driving into the ocean or the radioactivity. Those to the west would enter a traffic jam of epic proportions. Highways all over the island, the county's study showed, would be hopelessly snarled.

For that reason both Suffolk County and New York State have refused to propose an evacuation plan for Shoreham. So the company, commonly known as Lilco, drew up its own plan and thought to test it with its own employees. The state and county challenged the plan, and the State Supreme Court ruled it an illegal usurpation of the police powers of local government. "Lilco has to realize," declared Justice William Geiler this is a government of law and not of men or private corporations." Two licensing boards of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission also called the plan illegal. After the court defeat, FEMA and Lilco came up with the idea of using stand-ins.

Last November the commission approved the test, under pressure from the Reagan Administration (former Reagan aide Lyn Nofziger has been paid $20,000 a month to pull strings in Washington for Lilco). The vote was not surprising, considering some of the commissioners' backgrounds. Thomas M. Roberts had been chief "executive officer and president of Southern Boiler Tank Works, which produces boilers for nuclear plants. Adm. Lando Zech had been in the nuclear Navy until his retirement, in 1983. Frederick Bernthal had served as an aide to Senator Howard Baker and had been best known on the Hill as a promoter of the Clinch River Breeder Reactor. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Shoreham Evacuation Plan; Staging Lilco's Nuclear Follies
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.