River patrols begin at Indian Point, thanks to Fox 5 - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

River patrols begin at Indian Point, thanks to Fox 5

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Fox 5 in November showed you how close we could get to Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester County by boat. Only buoys separated us from the plant.

Not anymore. The Coast Guard was spotted patrolling the Hudson River near Indian Point on Thursday.

"Look, the fact that there is not 24/7 coverage on the water was astounding to me and when Channel 5 brought that up we said we've got to do something about this," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

Schumer said he is close to establishing permanent around-the-clock patrols by boats on the water with the Coast Guard leading a group of agencies to carry them out.

"The terrorists always look for our weakest pressure point," Schumer said. "They study these things and they'll know where the weakness is and exploit it. So if there are no boats guarding the water 24/7, they'll figure out when and God-forbid do something."

But several current and former security employees also revealed to Fox 5 what they say are other serious problems in security at the nuclear plant: sleeping guards, a faulty computer alarm system, falsified records, and failed security drills.

skip travis, a former security lieutenant, said he has spoken with guards who still work at the plant.

"My understanding is there is much pressure and many people are looking in the areas to correct the problems that do exist there," Travis said.

"Just since the story broke, we're having people come out and break their silence," said Phillip Musegaas of Riverkeeper, a nonprofit watchdog group worried about Indian Point. "Every day that plant operates without proper security is a day that we're all at risk."

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission oversees Indian Point. Officials there won't talk to us. But an internal document shows for some of the problems, the NRC has only given the plant a slap on the wrist.

Schumer said it's time for a close look.

"I want a full review, and I want security to be number one at Indian Point," Schumer said. "It is probably the nuclear reactor that is closest to the most number of people so you can't be too careful."

A spokesperson for Indian Point told us security trains and is prepared for attacks from the water and overall the plant is safe and secure.

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