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New York nuclear power plant to close

The operator of an upstate New York nuclear power plant said it will close the facility by early 2017, citing the economics of operating it.

The Fitzpatrick Nuclear Generating Station, just under 50 miles north of Syracuse, N.Y., is the second nuclear power plant to announce plans to close in less than a month, following plans to close the Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station in Massachusetts.

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Both plants are owned by Entergy Corp., which is blaming cheap natural gas and poor state utility structures for making nuclear power too expensive.

“Given the financial challenges our merchant power plants face from sustained wholesale power price declines and other unfavorable market conditions, we have been assessing each asset,” Entergy chief Leo Denault said in a statement.

“We recognize the consequences of the shutdown for our employees and the surrounding community and pledge to do our best to support both during this transition.”

New York state leaders immediately blasted the decision.

Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food Ron Johnson forces reading of 628-page Senate coronavirus relief bill on floor MORE (D) said he was “furious” at Entergy. “I will do everything I can at the federal, state and local level to prevent this closure,” he Syracuse's Post-Standard.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he would use every power the state has at its disposal to stop Fitzpatrick from closing.