It is official: Indian Point is closing! The State of New York and Entergy came to an agreement this past week to close one reactor in 2020 and the other in 2021. Both had been operating under expired NRC permits while Entergy applied for 20 year license extensions. For background, read this article in Forbes 01.07.17 and for details on the deal, read Riverkeeper’s post 01.09.17.
Starting with the closure announcement for Vermont Yankee just 3 years ago, Entergy has since announced the closure of Pilgrim (MA), Palisades (MI) and now Indian Point.
That leaves one Entergy reactor left in the Northeast: Fitzpatrick (NY). Those in the know suspect FitzPatrick was a bargaining chip in the deal to close Indian Point. In 2015 Entergy announced that it would close FitzPatrick. NY Gov. Cuomo told his regulatory board to create ratepayer-financed subsidies to protect FitzPatrick (citing jobs). In August 2016, Entergy announced it would sell FitzPatrick to Exelon.
Indian Point activists cannot rest. Like Pilgrim, VY, FitzPatrick and Palisades, the nukes should shut down NOW, and their legacy of thousands of tons of highly radioactive waste remain. And a 42 inch gas pipeline is being built by Spectra, on Indian Point property, 105 feet from emergency generators for the nukes and under the Hudson River. It’s a nightmare scenario. On Friday nine activists were sentenced for blocking access to a Spectra construction site. (The Guardian published a decent background piece on the issue in April).
Dave Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists recently posted about Entergy’s problems over the past five years. “Bad luck might explain an underperforming reactor or two. But bad luck does not cause performance to drop at 70 percent of the Entergy fleet… NRC cannot wait for a reactor to meltdown before asking Entergy to explain why so many of its reactors are experiencing so many problems.”