There have been many controversies surrounding nuclear energy use in New York State, and most recently, a state court ruling has decided that Governor Cuomo has the ability to deny the re-licensing of a plant near New York City.
Entergy Nuclear’s Indian Point nuclear plant is located 50 miles up the Hudson river from New York City and generates about 2,000 megawatts of electricity annually for both New York City and Westchester County. In total, this equates to providing a full 25% of the city’s energy every year.
Problem is, this plant has a history of leaks and other mishaps that are making governmental officials worried about contamination in the Hudson. Many believe that the plant should not have its license renewed, as it is too much of a threat to human safety.
This aging plant — which is comprised of Indian Point Plant 2 and Indian Point Plant 3– received its 40-year operating license from the Atomic Energy Commission, now the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, back in 1973 and 1975 respectively. They expired in 2013 and 2015. Since then, the plants have been running on temporary licenses while awaiting the governor’s decision.
These plants are older than most in the nation, with the average age of a U.S. nuclear reactor being 34.
When Entergy acquired the plants back in the early 2000s, they applied for a 20 year term license to start in 2012, which was denied when it went against 44 of the statewide policies needed for approval. For this reason, the state courts gave Cuomo the decision to deny relicensing if he saw fit, as the Indian Point reactors didn’t — and continue not to — comply with state rules over what can operate near coastal waters.
Cuomo was happy with the court’s decision and made a statement giving New Yorkers a glimpse at his future decision.
“Indian Point is antiquated and does not belong on the Hudson River in close proximity to New York City, where it poses a threat not only to the coastal resources and uses of the river, but to millions of New Yorkers living and working in the surrounding community,” RT reports.