Sale of Indian Point approved

New York News

Indian Point Energy Center, Buchanan, NY (photo: Entergy Nuclear)

BUCHANAN, N.Y. (WWTI) — A deal on a major nuclear power facility in New York has come to a close. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that the Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved the sale of the Indian Point nuclear power facility to Holtec International subsidiaries.

According to the governor, the closure of Indian Point has been anticipated by state energy planners for over a decade. Following Wednesday’s sale, a swift transfer of power will allow for Holtec to safely decommission and remediate the site.

“As Governor and previously as Attorney General, I have been deeply concerned with the safety of the Indian Point nuclear power facility given its proximity to some of the most densely populated areas in the nation,” Cuomo said in a written statement. “After years of relentless work with our federal, state, and local partners, we have finally been able to close it safely and responsibly and will now move on to the decommissioning phase. This is a win for the health and safety of New Yorkers, and the protection of our environment.”

Dating back to 2017, Entergy—then-owner of Indian Point—agreed with Cuomo to close two remaining operational reactors at the downstate site. Unit 2 was closed in April 2020 and Unit 3 was deactivated in April 2021.

Entergy and Holtec filed an application for license transfer with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and separately filed a petition which requested the PSC not to exercise any jurisdiction over the sale of the Indian Point facilities and site.

However, the Governor’s Office added that the State Department Service staff, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Office of the Attorney General, and local governments obtained financial and administrative provisions. Members of the public were also invited to comment on the provisions throughout the proceedings.

The NRC previously approved the license transfer without the provisions contained in the joint proposal to the PSC, and the State of New York filed a lawsuit challenging NRC’s decision. Governor Cuomo’s Office confirmed that the joint proposal approved by the PSC today resolved the federal litigation.

Under Wednesday’s agreement, Holtec is required to:

  • Maintain a minimum balance of $400 million in the decommissioning trust fund for 10 years
  • Maintain a minimum balance of $360 million in the decommissioning trust fund at partial site release from the NRC for costs related to waste management and radiological cleanup of the site
  • Return 50% of the money it recovers from the Department of Energy for spent fuel management costs to the decommissioning trust fund
  • Conduct site restoration and remediation under an order of consent with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • Provide funding towards state and local emergency management and response
  • Provide financial and project reporting to the State and the public through a website and other channels to ensure transparency regarding project status and costs

Several New York State leaders commented on Wednesday’s announcement. Their statements are included below:

“The sale of Indian Point moves New York State one step closer to providing peace of mind for the millions of New Yorkers living in this facility’s shadow. The agreed upon plan secures the resources necessary to accelerate decommissioning and complete a comprehensive cleanup as expeditiously as possible. The inclusion of a Decommissioning Oversight Board will ensure full compliance with all terms of the sale agreement and provides for a transparent process that will keep the community informed every step of the way and these New Yorkers deserve nothing less.”

Basil Seggos
DEC Commissioner

“Today is a milestone that moves New York forward in its efforts to build a clean, renewable grid of the future that will spur a green economy that benefits all, delivering thousands of good paying jobs to existing and new clean energy workers while reducing harmful pollutants from communities across the state.  As the State’s nuclear coordinator, NYSERDA is pleased to see this be completed with stakeholder engagement and community protections at the forefront and we will continue to monitor the financial and public health and safety assurances that have been made by Holtec’s subsidiaries to ensure the plant is fully decommissioned.”

Doreen M. Harris
NYSERDA President and CEO

I have always maintained that the dismantling and cleanup of Indian Point should prioritize the safety and wellbeing of New Yorkers. Today’s approval of the agreement my office reached with Holtec certifies that we can move forward with a decommissioning process that is safe, responsible, thorough, and exceeds stringent federal standards. My office will continue to closely monitor the closure to ensure the protection of New Yorkers.”  

Letitia James,
Attorney General of New York

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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