‘Indian Point’ reveals the truth about an aging nuclear power plant, just 35 miles north of Times Square


As a New Yorker, post-9/11, we want to believe that we’re safer. We want to think that the heightened presence of armed guards at Grand Central means something. But, it’s the forces we don’t see that should freak us out. Did you know that just 35 miles north of Times Square is an aging nuclear power plant called Indian Point? I sure didn’t. Not scary enough for you? Alright, the government has downgraded evacuation plans since the Fukushima meltdown. Still no? 6% of the country’s population lives with 50 miles of the plant. You cannot outrun radiation.

The plant was built in the 1950’s and has not been sufficiently updated since. This is not a one-off for the plants across the country. Old technology cannot be applied fast enough for the amount of old cores we are storing on site (encased in cement). The volatility of this waste is unbelievable. When the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, Fukushima’s waste was jostled enough to cause multiple reactor meltdown, something that the industry claims is impossible in the US. That radiation has traveled across the ocean and is now causing birth defects in California. Indian Point shows this issue from all sides; activists, journalists, plants supervisors, residents, and the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This is an eye-opening doc about money Vs power.  When you get the end of the film, the information provided will downright piss you off more than you ever thought possible. Indian Point should stand as a warning for us all. Complacency is the way we power our planet is no longer an option.

First Run Features announces the US theatrical premiere of Ivy Meeropol’s documentary INDIAN POINT at The Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York on July 8, 2016, with Los Angeles to follow on July 22, 2016 at Laemmle Music Hall.

INDIAN POINT takes an unblinking look at the dramatic debate over nuclear power by going inside the aging plant that looms just 35 miles from New York City. With over 50 million people living in close proximity to the facility, it has stoked a great deal of controversy in the surrounding community, including a vocal anti-nuclear contingent concerned that the kind of disaster that happened at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant could happen here. At the same time, its continued operation has the support of the plant’s operators and the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) as they campaign to relicense Indian Point for another 20 years of operation.

INDIAN POINT presents a complex story through the people who are most invested in the nuclear industry—the owners of the plant, the workers at the plant and the activists who want to shut it down. The film begins inside Indian Point with Brian Vangor, senior control room operator and 35-year veteran who says his job is making sure the plant’s workers “get through their shifts unscathed.” We hear from Marilyn Elie, a leader of the anti-Indian Point group IPSEC and her husband Roger Witherspoon, an environmental journalist. We also meet attorney Phillip Musegaas from Riverkeeper in New York who reveals what few people understand—the enormous damage the plant causes to the water that surrounds it.

As nuclear disaster struck in Japan, Gregory Jaczko, then Chairman of the NRC, was shaken by the news. INDIAN POINT follows Jaczko to Fukushima as he attempts to understand the tragedy no one in his field thought possible.

The debate at the center of INDIAN POINT is more timely now than ever. In February of 2016, news broke that the groundwater below Indian Point had been contaminated with radioactive material, prompting a state investigation.

Filmmaker Ivy Meeropol had unprecedented access to the plant at the center of the most contentious relicensing process in the history of the industry. In the brewing fight for clean energy,INDIAN POINT presents a nuanced argument about the issues surrounding nuclear energy and offers a startling reality check for our uncertain nuclear future.

Filmmaker Biography

Ivy Meeropol is a producer and director of an array of acclaimed documentary feature films and television series. Meeropol recently directed and produced an episode for CNN’s docuseries Death Row Stories, Executive Produced by Alex Gibney and Robert Redford. Her documentary series The Hill premiered on The Sundance Channel in 2006 and received an IDA nomination for best series. In 2007, Meeropol directed the feature documentary All About Abe and in 2003, she produced and directed Heir to An Execution, which had its world premiere at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and was shortlisted for an Academy Award®. She is currently directing and producing for an Emmy® award-winning climate change documentary series on the National Geographic channel.

A film by Ivy Meeropol
2015, USA, Documentary, English, 94 minutes, Digital

See it if you want to lose sleep.” – Vulture

Must-see.” – New York Post

An effective case study in the long debate over nuclear energy.
– John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

A cautionary tale about a technology once seen as an abundant and non-polluting energy source, but with downsides that could make oil spills and electrical brownouts seem as minor as a fender bender.
– Lewis Beale, The Daily Beast

Nuclear power is incredibly efficient… but highly dangerous if anything goes awry. That looming threat of danger pushes at the edges of the film, threatening rupture like a nuclear reactor. Someone needs to ask questions; here they are.
– Diana Clarke, The Village Voice

About Melissa Hanson

Melissa Hanson aka Dial M For Melissa - Managing Editor / Podcast Producer - Growing up, Melissa’s favorite destination was always the video store and would agonize over whether to watch something new or to rewatch a favorite. Things have not changed. Follow on Twitter @DialMForMelissa

Leave a Reply