Entergy's Indian Point nuclear plant to shut down in 2021

Dive Brief:

  • The Indian Point nuclear facility located 25 miles from New York City will shut down by 2021 under an agreement between plant owner Entergy and the state finalized today.
  • The shutdown will occur in stages, with one reactor ceasing operations by April 2020 and a second by April 2021.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pressed for years to shut down the plant, which, despite no acute danger, the says cannot be safely operated so close to the country's most populous city.  

Dive Insight:

After years of contention, Gov. Cuomo and Entergy finally reached a deal to shut down the controversial Indian nuclear facility 14 years before it was due for re-licensing. 

"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,” Cuomo said in a statement announcing the deal. “I am proud to have secured this agreement with Entergy to responsibly close the facility 14 years ahead of schedule to protect the safety of all New Yorkers. 

The Indian nuclear facility has been a thorn in the governor's side for several years over concerns that its close proximity to New York City. 

In 2015, New York rejected a water use permit for the plant, leading Entergy to file a lawsuit in response, alleging that the state's objections were based on concerns over the plant's safety. While company conceded the concerns were valid, they argued safety issues are regulated by the federal government and not New York. Fueling the fight even further, a transformer fire broke out in the plant in 2015, piling up more concerns over the plant's safety. 

Despite Cuomo's longstanding campaign to close the plant, he has also laid the groundwork to preserve three struggling nuclear facilities in upstate New York, citing their importance to the state's climate goals. 

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