Advocating for safe, sustainable energy that doesn’t put the environment at risk
The Indian Point nuclear plant in Westchester County withdraws more than two billion gallons of water from the Hudson River each day to keep its reactors cool—then dumps the heated water back into the river. This outmoded cooling process has devastating impacts on the river’s ecology, killing billions of aquatic organisms each year. Installation of closed-cycle cooling at Indian Point would reduce these impacts by more than 95 percent and is a feasible technology used at other large power plants around the country.
In order to receive a license extension, Indian Point must also receive a certification from the New York State Department of State (DOS) that its operations are consistent with New York’s coastal policies. In November 2015, DOS ruled that Indian Point’s operation is not consistent with the state’s coastal policies and did not grant a coastal consistency certification. Entergy is fighting the applicability of the state coastal program in court, and Scenic Hudson joined with Riverkeeper and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater to file an amicus brief supporting New York State.
In January 2017, it was annouced that New York State and Entergy, the company who operates Indian Point, reached an agreement to shut down two reactors by April 30, 2021. Riverkeeper was party to the agreement on behalf of Scenic Hudson and other partners.
Our press release details the conditions that will be met under this agreement with the Unit 2 reactor to permanetly cease operations no later than April 30, 2020, and the Unite 3 reactor will permanently cease operations no later than April 30, 2021. Annually, Entergy will be responsible for moving a set number of spent fuel rods from its dangerous storage pools to dry cask storage on site - a much safer technology for storing radioactive material. The agreement includes an emergency provision that will allow the reactors to remain open for a maximum of four additional years - subject to approval by New York State - only by reason of war, a sudden increase in electrical demand, or a suddent shortage of electrical energy.