Nuclear, Reactors

New York Governor, Entergy Agree to Close Indian Point Nuclear Plant

By Editors of Power Engineering

Entergy announced it will close the two nuclear reactors at Indian Point Energy Center in 2020 and 2021.

The closure was announced as part of a settlement with New York State, which will drop legal challenges against the plant. Additionally, the state will support renewal of operating licenses for Indian Point.

The shutdown will complete Entergy’s exit from its merchant power business due to low wholesale energy prices.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed the deal Monday.

“For 15 years, I have been deeply concerned by the continuing safety violations at Indian Point, especially given its location in the largest and most densely populated metropolitan region in the country,” Mr. Cuomo said in a prepared statement. “I am proud to have secured this agreement with Entergy to responsibly close the facility.”

The deal was an agreement between Entergy, the governor’s office, the office of New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman and environmental group Riverkeeper, the New York Times reported.

Entergy noted that low energy prices, lower power generation costs for other sources and increased operating costs, including $200 million already invested for license renewal contributed to the decision.

“We thank our nearly 1,000 dedicated employees for operating a world-class nuclear power generating facility at top levels of safety, security and reliability, as well as the community for supporting us,” said Leo Denault, Entergy’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We are committed to treating our employees fairly and will help those interested in other opportunities to relocate within the Entergy system.”

The license renewal will enable Entergy to operate Indian Point through its new shutdown date.

Previously, Entergy announced the sale of the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear plant in upstate New York, the closure and sale of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant and the shutdowns of the Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts and the Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan.

Indian Point, which has an operating capacity of over 2,000 MW, has long been a target of environmental groups, although supporters have said there aren’t adequate substitutes for the carbon-free power it generates.

The New York Times indicated Cuomo will announce other sources of energy will be available by 2021, and that customers won’t feel much impact.