New York’s Indian Point nuclear plant to close

New York’s Indian Point nuclear plant to close
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The Indian Point nuclear power plant outside New York City will close by 2021, years ahead of schedule, the plant’s owner and state officials announced on Monday. 

Indian Point, a 42-year-old, 2,000-megawatt power plant, will close one of its reactors in April 2020 and shutter a second reactor one year later, both more than a decade ahead of federal relicensing deadlines.  

Indian Point operator Entergy said closing the power plant was an economic decision, citing low prices for other forms of energy like gas and expected increases in operating and licensing costs.

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The plant has been a top target for environmentalists and some Democrats in New York, who warn that an accident at the plant would pose a threat to the New York City area, which is about 40 miles away.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Monday noted safety and operational problems at the plant and celebrated its shuttering. 

“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,” he said in a statement. 

“This administration has been aggressively pursuing and incentivizing the development of clean, reliable energy, and the state is fully prepared to replace the power generated by the plant at a negligible cost​ to ratepayers."

Under the closure deal announced on Monday, the state will drop legal challenges over Indian Point and support Entergy’s outstanding relicensing application for the plant. Entergy will also pay $15 million for environmental mitigation work and has said it will offer Indian Point employees positions at other facilities.