As the Indian Pt Nuclear Plant's license term draws to an end, two environmental groups have published a report revealing the hazards posed by the plant and a list of alternative power supplies in a hardheaded battle to prevent the plant's license from being renewed.
We don't need Indian Point's power, said New York's clean water advocate, Riverkeeper, who calls the plant an environmentally destructive ticking time bomb.
Teaming up with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Riverkeeper published a report that concluded the 2,065-megawatt plant in midtown Manhattan poses heightened health, safety and financial risks to millions of people living in the vicinity, when compared with the 104 operating nuclear reactors in America.
The world watched the nuclear crisis in Japan with fear and heavy hearts; no one wants to see a repeat here in one of the most densely populated regions of the country, said NRDC President Frances Beinecke. Fortunately, we have a wealth of safer energy sources ready to go that can fully replace the power from Indian Point. When we consider the human and economic costs of a nuclear crisis in New York, and the host of benefits from investing in clean energy, the solution is common sense.
The plant had much attention as Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling for its shut down while former Mayor Rudy Giuliani is starring in a new ad campaign for the facility. Entergy, the second biggest nuclear power operator in the United States and Indian Point's owner, want to run the plant for another 20 years after the original 40-year operating licenses expire, Reuters reported.
Research conducted by the two environment groups has found that many safer and cleaner energy options are available to replace the plant without impacting the reliability of the region's power supply.
Estimates of alternative energy sources that are available to replace Indian Point's 2,000 MW of electric capacity by 2020:
About 1,550 MW in savings from new energy efficiency resources in the Indian Point region, beyond those that are already planned. Additional savings are available in the rest of the state.
Nearly 600 MW of renewable energy capacity to meet peak electricity demand (and up to 3,000 MW total capacity) by 2015. In total, more than 6,000 MW of renewable energy projects like wind and solar are already in the planning process in the state.
8,000 MW from proposed new transmission lines to bring power to New York City from upstate New York and other regions, including the already approved 660 MW Hudson Transmission Line, and nearly 2,000 MW of lines are already well along in the approval process.
More than 1,000 MW from increased efficiency at existing, outdated natural gas plants in New York City, which involves updating their technology to increase power output and reducing air emissions and other pollution.
The organizations believe that replacements can be done on time at a modest cost if action is taken immediately.
The more you learn about Indian Point, the more you know it must close, said Robert Kennedy Jr., Chief Prosecuting Attorney for Riverkeeper and Senior Attorney at NRDC. It's too old, near too many people, and too vulnerable to fire, earthquake, outside attack and a host of other potential disasters.
Indian Point Energy Center is located on the Hudson River in Buchanan, N.Y., in Westchester County, just 34 miles north of the center of Manhattan.