Indian Point nuclear power plants might be closed in 2016

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Update February 7, 2016: Nuclear material is leaking from Indian Point. The Post reports,”“Alarming’’ levels of radioactivity have been discovered in three monitoring wells at the Indian Point nuclear power plant, Gov. Cuomo said Saturday.

He told the state Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation to investigate how “radioactive tritium-contaminated water’’ leaked into the groundwater at the plant, in the Hudson River town of Buchanan in northern Westchester County.”

December 29, 2015- Politico reports, “At least one of the state’s six nuclear reactors may be shuttered, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo is aggressively targeting two more, both at the Indian Point facility in Westchester, for closure. A fourth faces closure in less than two years, though a new Cuomo administration climate initiative could extend its life for at least another decade.

But community groups are concerned about the potential for accidents, and environmentalists about the toll nuclear takes on water resources and the wildlife killed when reactors use river or lake water for cooling — particularly at Indian Point, less than 30 miles north of New York City on the Hudson River.

The Cuomo administration is meanwhile targeting that facility on multiple fronts, including by rejecting its coastal certification, required by state regulators to protect waterways from development and industry.

The plant’s operator, Entergy, has won the battle over that certification so far, but the fight is expected to come before the state’s highest court in early 2016. Should Entergy lose before the Court of Appeals, it could be forced to cut a deal to close the plant in the next decade.

Both of Indian Point’s licenses are now expired, and whether to renew them — a process expected to take years — is largely up to the federal government. But the state has a say in a few key steps in that process, and it’s using it to pressure Entergy into closing Indian Point.

In November, Jim Malatras, Cuomo’s director of state operations, asked the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission to oppose the plant’s relicensing, citing “embrittled reactor pressure vessels and fatigued metals on key reactor components” and saying there was no safety evacuation route for the 20 million people living within 50 miles of it in case of a serious accident. But the NRC hasn’t flagged that as an issue that should lead to the plant’s closure.

Ed Koch: Indian Point nuclear plant should be closed

Julie Menin says “Close Indian Point”

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