Assembly Weighs Impact of Indian Point Nuclear Facility Closure

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New York State Assembly members held a hearing Thursday examining the impact of the potential closure of Indian Point nuclear power plant and energy alternatives.

In 2013 and 2015, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission operation licenses for the plant’s two nuclear reactors will expire. Entergy Corporation, owner of the plant, has petitioned the NRC to operate the reactors for additional 20 years.

“Indian Point is critical to New York City and to Westchester County,” said Jerry Kremer, chairman of New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance. “It can’t be replaced. It’s clean power. There’s just no way this region can do without it.”

Kremer was one of a dozen witnesses, who pointed to the problem of replacing the 2,000 megawatts generated by Indian Point. Those, according to testimonies, represent about 30 percent of New York City’s demand.

“The shutdown of the Indian Point units would increase the price of electricity for consumer, would increase greenhouse gases and other air emissions in the region, and would impact local economy,” said Joseph Oates, Con Edison’s vice president of energy management.

Oates estimated that the Indian Point shutdown would result in annual bill increases of 5 to 10 percent for a typical Con Edison residential customer in New York City.

New facilities, such as the Cricket Valley Energy in Dover, N.Y., natural gas-fired plant, upgrades to the transmission system between upstate and downstate New York, and renewable sources of energy were also discussed at the hearing. It remained unclear, however, whether they could be developed in time to provide replacement power for Indian Point.

Shutdown proponents have found a strong supporter in Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has made his plans to close Indian Point clear on numerous occasions.

“This plant in this proximity to the city was never a good risk,” he said at a conference last year, following the earthquake in Japan and crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Indian Point is located in Buchanan,N.Y, about 24 miles north of the city, with one of its reactors near two fault lines. Calling it “Fukushima-on-the- Hudson,” about two dozen supporters of the shutdown gathered before the hearing, chanting and waving placards that read “Close Indian Point.”

“We just think it’s absolutely too dangerous,” said Tom Siracuse, vice chair of the Shut Down Indian Point Now coalition. “It can never be made safe enough. It should be shut down.”


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Comments [3]

Apparently Mr. Siracuse and his fellow greens are so blinded by their anti-nuclear hysteria that they do not realize, or will not acknowledge, that premature shutdown of the Indian Point power plants will result in a huge increase in methane transport and consumption, sourced from hundreds of new fracked wells in the Marcellus shale fields.

If they think that will be a net gain for the environment, they are on a different planet than the rest of us (maybe not a bad idea).

If wouldn’t surprise me if some of Mr. Cuomo’s biggest supporters have a financial interest in making this happen.

Jan. 13 2012 02:36 PM
Tom Siracuse from Manhattan

H. Springer's previous comment totally ignores the most important consideration... Can Indian Point really be safe and what would happen to the 20 million people, the environment and the economy if Indian Point had a melt down? The plant sits on two earthquake faults and although its owner Entergy claims it can withstand a 6.0 earthquake, the U.S. Geologic Service says that a more powerful quake cannot be ruled out. Entergy also claims that the plant is safe but Indian Point has had many accidents over the years, the latest resulting in the shut down of one of its reactors this week! No one can guarantee the safety of Indian Point or any other nuclear plant from an unusual natural event, human error or even a terrorist attack. Gov. Pataki set up a commission to investigate an evacuation plan and it concluded that there is no way to evacuate the area that would be lethally radiated. To use lethally dangerous nuclear energy to make electricity may provide profits for the nuclear power industry, but it is such a threat to the health of human beings and the ecology of the planet that we must phase out nuclear power as soon as possible. Other countries such as Germany, Italy, Switzerland and now Japan, are phasing out nuclear energy and we must too. We cannot have a Fukishima disaster on the Hudson!
Tom Siracuse-Green Party

Jan. 13 2012 02:02 PM
H. Springer from Hudson Valley resident

Mr. Cuomo's personal need for environmentalists' campaign contributions in no way translates into any advantages for the public. "Close Indian Point" is a theme that has perhaps 6000 votes attached to it (via Riverkeeper's mailing list), helping greatly in any Democratic primary, but the region has 20 million people in it, who would all suffer if Cuomo's "Talking Theme" were ever made real.


Jan. 13 2012 08:14 AM

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