While some New Yorkers may agree that a swift decommissioning of Indian Point is best for the region following the plant’s closure, Riverkeeper needs a reality check on its post-Indian Point vision (Indian Point Should Be Decommissioned, Cleaned Up ASAP, June 13).
Riverkeeper prematurely assumes that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will agree to the immediate decommissioning of Indian Point following its 2021 shutdown and even suggests that “experience with decommissioning so far shows that it can be done within 20 years or even faster if the will is there.” However, if we look to Vermont as an example, the standard timeframe for Entergy to decommission a defunct power plant averages on 60 years. While some decommissioning agencies can complete the tasks in a fraction of that time, the NRC is committed to ensuring community safety first. Any license transfer to another owner for the purpose of decommissioning would likely be a year-long process at least.
Additionally, Riverkeeper continues to claim that the downstate region will be able to absorb the loss of Indian Point’s 2,000 megawatts with no consequences, despite the New York Independent System Operator’s study which assesses that three natural gas plants – Bayonne Energy Center in Bayonne, NJ, CPV Valley in Orange County, and Cricket Valley in Dutchess County – will need to come online by 2021 to replace Indian Point’s power.
Fortunately, we still have three years left to enjoy Indian Point’s zero-emissions energy and massive economic benefits. But let’s not ignore the consequences of losing our largest clean power source. We need our elected officials to commit to the completion of natural gas sources before it’s too late.