New Orleans-based energy generator Entergy Corp. has closed down the Indian Point Two reactor, as of 30 April, bringing to an end the productive life of the reactor that began commercial operations in 1974 and served the New York City/Westchester County region for 45 years.
The 998 MWe capacity power plant, as of 1917, created enough electricity to answer to one quarter of the needs of the nation’s largest city plus a significant county to the north.
However, its location in Buchanan, New York, has long been a bone of contention for local anti-nuclear power groups who argued that a major disaster at the plant would quickly affect one of the most densely populated areas of the world. Escape from such an event would be astronomically difficult, if not impossible, according to some.
Entergy agreed to close Indian Point, with an agreement with the state of New York and environmental groups. The company operates another reactor on site, Indian Point 3, a 1030 MWe capacity power plant that is scheduled for final closure in April 2021.
Besides the fear of a disaster, several other factors have repositioned the energy market, including the rising demand for “green” energy production, where nuclear power has been unfairly eschewed. The fear of global warming and now the fear of a global pandemic are affecting power markets, although the decision to close Indian Point was made in 2017, over a year before the coronavirus asserted itself as a global pandemic. Now, however, much of the world is staring at an economic recession and possibly depression as a result of COVID-19. This could have a chilling effect on demand for electricity.
“Over the past 45 years, thousands of dedicated professionals have operated Unit 2 at Indian Point,” said the company’s Chief Nuclear Officer Chris Bakken. “We owe each of them our thanks for a job well done,” he said;.
The company, which purchased the plant in 2001, said more than 40 Indian Point employees have elected to take new jobs in the company, which has offered a relocation option to its employees. The company operates nuclear power plants in Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana.
An application to transfer ownership to decommissioning company Holtec International is under review at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
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The public (rate payers) should see a drastic increase on their electric bills. I see another 'Escape from New York' move(ie) coming soon.