New York Forcing Nuclear Power Plant To Close

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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New York state will shut down the Indian Point nuclear power plant by April 2021, even though doing so will make it nearly impossible for the state to comply with the governor’s global warming pledges.

Entergy, which owns Indian Point, agreed with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make safety upgrades and shut down the plant by 2021 in exchange for the state dropping safety and environmental claims filed against the reactors.

“If you wonder why so many Republicans think global warming is a hoax, look no further than the corrupt deal struck by Bobby Kennedy, Jr. and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to shut down New York’s largest source of zero-emissions power,” Michael Shellenberger, president of the pro-nuclear environmental group Environmental Progress, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Cuomo permitted a natural gas plant at the center of a federal criminal prosecution in order to replace Indian Point.”

Cuomo repeatedly pledged to reduce New York’s CO2 emissions with the goal of slowing global warming. The governor created a $5 billion dollar fund to reduce CO2 emissions by spending money on wind and solar power.

Indian Point generates more than 2,000 megawatts of electricity, or about one-fourth of the power consumed in New York City and Westchester County.

“[Cuomo is] claiming we should not pay attention to that and imagine that a 1,000 MW transmission line could possibly replace a 2000 MW nuclear plant,” Shellenberger continued. “It’s not hypocrisy, it’s greenwashing of the highest order. Add to the fact that Riverkeeper is knee-deep in conflicts of interest — with interests that have a financial interest in closing Indian Point on its board — this is a marriage of Albany and anti-nuke corruption of the highest order.”

Allowing the Indian Point plant to shut down will increase carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 29 percent, according to a report by Environmental Progress. Shutting down the plant will create twice as much CO2 as would have been reduced under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Cuomo previously called for Indian Point to be shut down, as he claims it is too close to the densely populated southern portion of the state. New York’s other nuclear reactors are in the much more lightly populated northern upstate region.

The replacement power for Indian Point is likely to come mostly from natural gas power plants, not wind or solar. Nuclear power provides about 63 percent of America’s CO2-free power. A single nuclear reactor prevents 3.1 million tons of CO2 emissions annually.

The nuclear industry suspected that New York would bail out Indian Point, much like Illinois’ Democratic state legislature voted last month to bail out several nuclear power plants in that state.

Cuomo offered a $7.6 billion dollar bailout to the state’s other nuclear plants in October.

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