Washington and Albany may be headed for a confrontation. The Cuomo administration is headed to court to argue against extending the operating licenses for a controversial nuclear power plant.
The state’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, is leading a team of lawyers who will raise eight objections to re-licensing Indian Point next week, before a three-judge panel. The contentions range from the mechanical (the soundness of piping and electricity) to nightmarish (arguing planners have not accounted for all the costs of a Fukushima-style meltdown). Gov. Andrew Cuomo, when he served as attorney general, said Indian Point, located on the Hudson River in northern Westchester County, should be closed because it’s located in a densely populated area that cannot be quickly evacuated in an emergency.
The staff of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission has already recommended renewing the licenses on Indian Point's two working reactors, allowing them to operate into the 2030s. But if the judges accept some of the state's objections, the review process could drag on for years.