NEW YORK—The troubled and aging Indian Point nuclear power plant located 24 miles north of New York City will be shuttered by April 2021 under a negotiated agreement announced today by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The plan to replace electricity generation from the two reactors will focus on clean, renewable energy with no net increase in carbon emissions, according to the governor.
Kit Kennedy, director of the energy and transportation program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, issued the following statement:
“This is welcome news for the nearly 20 million people living within 50 miles of the troubled Indian Point nuclear plant. NRDC has long opposed relicensing its two reactors because of Indian Point’s history of operational, safety and environmental problems, as well as the grave risk of a nuclear accident so close to the nation’s largest city.
“Fortunately, Governor Cuomo’s groundbreaking clean energy policies will ease the transition to safer alternatives that don’t produce dangerous waste or increase carbon emissions, such as energy efficiency, solar power, and both onshore and offshore wind energy. NRDC will work to ensure that Indian Point’s power is replaced with the best mix of clean energy possible. Governor Cuomo has long pledged to shut down Indian Point and today’s announcement shows that his tenacity and determination have paid off. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s key role in this groundbreaking agreement also shows important leadership.
Indian Point Energy Center’s two units were built in the 1960s in Buchanan, NY, along the east bank of the Hudson River in Westchester County. Their operating licenses expired in 2013 (Unit 2) and in 2015 (Unit 3), but Entergy had sought a 20-year license extension, which has been the subject of a lengthy and contentious relicensing proceeding before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety Licensing Board due to a number of safety and environmental concerns.
NRDC and Riverkeeper commissioned a 2012 report that showed Indian Point’s electricity capacity could be replaced by clean energy alternatives without any impact on reliability. An updated analysis is expected next month.
NRDC is not a party to the agreement announced today.
- Kit Kennedy and Jackson Morris, director of NRDC’s Eastern Energy Project, will be posting a reaction blog at: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/kit-kennedy and https://www.nrdc.org/experts/jackson-morris
- Matthew McKinzie, director of NRDC’s Nuclear program, is posting a reaction blog at https://www.nrdc.org/experts/matthew-mckinzie
- NRDC’s 2011 report “Nuclear Accident at Indian Point: Consequences and Costs” can be found at https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/NRDC-1336_Indian_Point_FSr8medium.pdf
- The map of the 50-mile radius of the plant included in Matthew McKinzie’s blog is available.
- The negotiated agreement to close the plant can be found here: http://www.riverkeeper.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Indian-Point-Closure-Agreement-January-8-2017.pdf
- Kit Kennedy, director of NRDC’s energy and transportation program; Matthew McKinzie, director of NRDC’s nuclear program; and Jackson Morris, director of NRDC’s Eastern Energy Project, are available for interviews about the announcement.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at http://www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.