The Indian Point nuclear power plant that has plagued the residents of New York for years is set to be closed by 2021 according to source. The nuclear power plant facility is located 25 miles north to the New York City. Over the years, the facility caused numerous hazardous incidents including radioactive leaks. There were at least nine leaks reported last year alone which raised concerns about the facility. After official meetings between Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York and Entergy, the company that operates the plant, both sides agreed to close two reactors within next four years.
Governor Cuomo in his State of the State speech addressed the issue expressing his deep concern regarding the series of safety violations that were reported earlier about the Indian Point nuclear plant. Considering the fact that it is located close to the most densely populated metropolitan area of the United States, the potential risks associated with the project cannot be taken lightly. The Governor also stated that his administration is working hard to develop alternate sources that will be able to ensure adequate supply of energy for the people of New York once this plant ceases to operate by 2021.
The Unit 2 reactor of the plant will shut down permanently by April 30, 2020 and the Unit 3 reactor will cease its operation by April 30, 2021 or sooner. The spent fuel rods will be taken to ‘dry cask’ storage from the storage pools which will be kept on the site. The deal also includes an environment and community fund of $15 million for protecting the wetland and river restoration projects.
Many social welfare and environmentalist groups have worked closely for years to shut down the 43- year old nuclear plant because of the hazardous issues that happened on a regular basis in the plant that could have serious consequences. Paul Gallay, the president of NGO Riverkeeper has expressed his satisfaction about the decision. He explained the development as a win for the communities living nearby. For them, the Indian Point nuclear plant remained as a threat for a long time.
The operating licenses for Unit 2 and Unit 3 reactor expired in 2013 and 2015 respectively. After the expiration of the 40-year license, Entergy applied to NRC for an extension. NRC initially planned to grant a 20 year extension before Gov. Cuomo made the deal with Entergy to shut down the plant by 2021.