Court Weighs Power Plant Costs vs. Protecting Fish

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Today the Supreme Court will hear arguments that could affect future operations at the Indian Point nuclear power station north of New York City. WNYC's Ilya Marritz has more.

REPORTER: At issue is the system Indian Point uses to cool its two reactors. The plant draws withdraws billions of gallons of water every day from the Hudson, and later releases that circulated water back into the river. State officials believe too many fish and fish eggs are killed in the process.

In 2007, the second circuit court of appeals in Manhattan found Indian Point did not use the best technology available, and was therefore in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Now the U.S. Supreme Court will consider the matter. Entergy, the owner of Indian Point, will argue that the cost of building a new closed cooling system is steep, while the benefit is unproven.

A decision isn't expected until early 2009. For WNYC, I'm Ilya Marritz.