Nuclear plant north of New York City shutting down
A nuclear plant just north of New York City will close permanently on Friday, ending a years-long battle over its fate.
The Associated Press reported that the Indian Point Energy Center will generate its final wattage on Friday before operators shut the plant down Friday evening. The plant previously was responsible for the generation of about one fourth of the power used across New York City and the Hudson River Valley.
The state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo (D), was a proponent of shutting the plant down, citing the risk posed to millions in the event of a terrorist attack or other catastrophic failure of the facility.
“Since my time as Attorney General I have been deeply concerned with the safety of the Indian Point nuclear power facility given its proximity to the most densely populated area in the country,” the governor said in a statement earlier this month.
“Shuttering Indian Point was, at one time, one of the main progressive causes in New York, and after years of relentless work, we’ve finally reached an agreement to close it safely and responsibly. This is a victory for the health and safety of New Yorkers, and moves us a big step closer to reaching our aggressive clean energy goals,” he said.
Opponents of shuttering the plant warned that it could increase New York’s short-term reliance on fossil fuels. The state plans to reach a 70 percent renewable-powered grid by 2030.
“Now we’re going to double the damage when Indian Point 3 shuts down, taking us even further backwards,” Keith Schue of New York Energy and Climate Advocates told The Associated Press.
Despite its use as a power supply for millions, the plant has not been without controversy even before efforts to shut it down began. In 2016, the plant was responsible for radioactive water leaking from the facility into groundwater, resulting from a spill from a storage tank.
The spill was not thought to affect local drinking water, but resulted in tritium-contaminated water leaking into the Hudson River.