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SCOTUS: The EPA Can Consider Cost of Upgrades to Nuclear Power Plants

Thursday, April 02, 2009

For years, environmentalists have worked to close down two aging nuclear plants near New York City. But they had two setbacks yesterday. WNYC's Ilya Marritz reports.

REPORTER: Forty miles north of New York City, there's the Indian Point Nuclear Power Station. The group Riverkeeper says the reactor there kills too many Hudson River fish.

But in a 6-3 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Riverkeeper's reading of the Clean Water Act. The Court said the EPA may consider cost when it decides whether to require the plant's owner to install an expensive new reactor cooling system that would kill fewer fish. Riverkeeper says it still hopes the Obama EPA will order changes at Indian Point.

Seventy miles to the south of the city, along the Jersey Shore, the Oyster Creek plant has been generating electricity since 1969. Environmentalists say it's too old to run safely. But in a three-to-one vote, a federal commission renewed Oyster Creek's operating license through the year 2029.

The Commission is also considering whether to re-license Indian Point.

For WNYC, I'm Ilya Marritz

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