Entergy Wants To Operate Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant For 20 More Years

Entergy has invested in plant's safety and security; Entergy's president says New York needs Indian Point's electricity.

Mike Kansler, president of Entergy Nuclear Northeast, along with former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and environmentalist Patrick Moore announced Wednesday that Entergy will ask for federal approval to operate their Indian Point Energy Center for 20 more years.

Indian Point’s two units in Buchanan, N.Y., generate more than 2,000 megawatts (2 million kilowatts) of power, enough to meet between 18 percent and 38 percent of the lower Hudson Valley’s and New York City’s electricity needs per day.

The clean, affordable power produced at Indian Point is devoid of greenhouse gases and other pollutants that are said to contribute to global warming.

During a press conference at the Riverfront Library in Yonkers, N.Y., Kansler said that since Entergy's purchase of Indian Point five years ago, they have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to enhance security and safety features at the facility.

Entergy has been working with security experts at Giuliani Partners, the consulting firm headed by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, to improve security at the plant.

Recently, a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study warned that the loss of Indian Point’s 2,000 megawatts would result in higher levels of environmentally harmful greenhouse gas emissions since the bulk of the replacement power would require burning dirtier fossil fuels.

Although the NAS study said it might be “technically feasible “ to shutdown Indian Point, it concluded that doing so would result in sharply higher electricity bills and exacerbate the volatile price swings that have plagued the natural gas market in recent years.

Although Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder and former leader of the international environmental organization Greenpeace, was at one time opposed to nuclear power, he now sees nuclear energy as having the greatest potential to stop global warming.

Dr. Moore, and other environmentalists, are cautioning against a "knee-jerk" opposition to nuclear power technology that is responsible for providing 20 percent of the U.S. electrical supply.

While acknowledging that the decision to seek re-licensing for Indian Point would raise “understandable concerns” for some, Kansler nonetheless urged all members of the community --particularly elected officials -- to keep an open mind and avoid a “rush to judgment” while the Nuclear Regulatory Commission evaluates the company’s request; a process that he promised would amount to “a rigorous top to bottom review of Indian Point based on an exhaustive examination of the facts.”

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