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Wolfe & Cornell say Shutdown Of Troubled Indian Point Means Improved Safety For The Public & The Environment

Wolfe & Cornell: Shutdown Of Plagued Indian Point Means Improved Safety For The Public & The Environment

BY LAURA INCALCATERRA

Former Chairman Wolfe (D-Montebello) did not seek re-election as Chairman.Days before of his clerk and former Ramapo Councilman Daniel Friedman jumped off Bear Mountain Bridge.

Longtime Legislator Harriet Cornell (D-West Nyack)

New City, NY (Jan. 11, 2017) – Legislators Alden H. Wolfe and Harriet Cornell are hailing an agreement that will lead to the permanent shutdown of the problem-plagued Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.

“We have waited years for this to happen and frankly, it can’t happen soon enough,” Wolfe said. “The facts have long shown that there is no future for this dangerous plant.”

Both legislators praised the efforts of all involved in closing the nuclear power facility.

“It has taken decades of advocacy from the grassroots level to Gov. Cuomo’s office,” Wolfe said. “That hard work is finally paying off – for the betterment of everyone in the region.”

Cornell (D-West Nyack), who chairs the Legislature’s Environmental Committee, said the list of problems at the plant stretches back decades and in 1984, when she joined the Legislature, she authored legislation to create a Citizens’ Commission to Close Indian Point.

Everyday citizens working with grassroots organizations have repeatedly demanded more attention be paid to Indian Point as the efforts to close it have continued.

“Without the watchful eyes of these dedicated watchdogs over the last 40-plus years, who knows what might have happened,” Cornell said. “I praise the hard work of these advocates, including Riverkeeper, and of Gov. Cuomo for their efforts in shutting down this outdated, dangerous plant.

Both legislators have long backed the effort to shut down the plant, which is home to two aging nuclear reactors. Some of the problems have included multiple unplanned or emergency shutdowns; spiked concentrations of tritium-contaminated water leaking into groundwater; the spilling of 3,000 gallons of oil into the beloved Hudson River; leaking fuel pods; and metal fatigue that led to missing or damaged bolts on Unit 2, where one out of every four bolts was affected.

The legislators also noted that Indian Point was not built to withstand a catastrophe such as a terrorist attack, an earthquake or a pipeline explosion, yet it had become a ticking time bomb and attractive terrorist target sitting on a fault line near a new natural gas pipeline route in one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the country.

Cornell said the continuing problems at Indian Point paint a clear picture of what the deteriorating plant has become: aged infrastructure that can’t be relied upon when it comes to the health and well-being of the public and the environment.

Indian Point Energy Center is owned and operated by Entergy Nuclear Northeast, a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, and is a three-unit nuclear power plant station located in Buchanan, in Westchester County. The Protective Action Areas for the center, including potential evacuation zones, includes about half of Rockland County. The site is just 28 miles from New York City.

Indian Point Unit 2 opened in 1974, and Unit 3 opened in 1976. The Unit 1 reactor was permanently shut down in 1974. The plant’s operating licenses expired in 2013 for Unit 2 and in 2015 for Unit 3; Entergy has been seeking renewal since 2007.

Under the agreement between the state, Riverkeeper and Entergy, Unit 2 would shut down by April 2020 and Unit 3 by April 2021.

By 2030, 50 percent of New York State’s power mix is to include renewables such as wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric power. Wolfe has asked the state Public Service Commission not to consider nuclear power generation as “clean” energy or to include it in the state’s milestones.

Indian Point can produce about 2,000 megawatts of power, but new reports indicate that the New York Power Authority doesn’t purchase electricity from Indian Point anymore, as it has found cheaper electricity elsewhere. Wolfe also pointed out that Indian Point’s energy generation largely benefits residents of New England, not New York State.

According to published reports this week, state officials say current expansions of New York’s energy grid, such as new hydropower transmissions, will add about 1,000 megawatts of new power, and that an additional 700 megawatts is already available.

Wolfe added that he was hopeful some of those now employed at Indian Point could be provided with training that would allow them to work in the renewable energy field. Published reports indicate retraining, retirement and jobs at other Entergy locations will be offered to the 1,000 workers, including 200 jobs to those who will help maintain the shuttered plant.

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