State Objects To Indian Point License Renewal

The Department of State in New York is attempting to block the relicensing application for the Indian Point generating station 24 miles north of New York City on grounds that it is harmful to the fish habitat of the Hudson River and a threat to the city's population.

Indian Point NPPAbout 17 million people live within a 50-mile radius of the plant. The state says that it would be impossible to evacuate the area in the event of an accident, which is a risk given the seismic fault lines near the plant.

The state also says this threatens the New Croton Reservoir, a major source of drinking water for millions of people. In addition, the plant kills billions of fish larvae each year, drawing 2.5 million gallons each day for cooling. A major estuary region downstream is affected, the state claims.

The Secretary of State for New York Cesar Perales said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission cannot reverse the decision, although it could be overruled by the U.S. commerce secretary on appeal.

Entergy, however, has challenged the state on grounds that the Coastal Consistency Determination should not be required for the plant to continue operations. A New York court has ruled in Entergy's favor, but the case is now pending in the state's highest court.

The company applied for a Coastal Consistency Determination in 2012, but withdrew from the process in 2014 on the claim that it was not required.

Several experts quoted in The Wall Street Journal say the federal Coastal Zone Management Act is difficult for states to use to deny an application.

There effectively is nothing for [the state department] to object to,” said Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi.

The timing of the denied application from the state could hardly be more awkward politically. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vociferously objected to Entergy's recent decision to close the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear generating station near Oswego, New York, on grounds that the region would lose about 600 full time jobs. Also upstate, the R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant is operating on borrowed time. The state's Public Service Commission has allowed that plant's owner Constellation Energy, a component of Exelon Corporation, surcharges that will keep the plant in the black while the utility, Rochester Gas & Electric, completes infrastructure upgrades that will allow the regional grid to supply local customers without Ginna.

Indian Point's Unit 1, commissioned in 1962, was shut down in 1974 due to troubles with its cooling system. Units 2 with a generating capacity of 1032 MW and Unit 3 with a generating capacity of 1051 MW were commissioned in 1974 and 1976, respectively. They are both Westinghouse Four-Loop pressurized water reactors.

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  • Anonymous

    Wow!  Unit 3 is powerful.   1051 GW is no joke.  

  • Anonymous

    All the antinuke politicians assume they can just build more powerlines and import the needed power from another state where it is generated. Or maybe NYCity can develop a Trash to Steam Electric plant with zero emmisions, oh thats right they dump all their trash in Jersey. Guess what happens to these short sighted politicians when electric power reliability is a thing of the past and rolling blackouts and brownouts become the norm.

  • Anonymous

    What happens? By then they are out of office and collecting big bux as lobbyists for "green" energy firms.  And oh how I wish I were being sarcastic...