Just off the wire from Entergy:
Yonkers, NY-- Calling the Indian Point Energy Center “vitally important to the economic and environmental health of our region,” Mike Kansler, president of Entergy Nuclear Northeast, joined today with former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and noted environmentalist Patrick Moore to announce that the company will seek federal approval to operate the facility for an additional 20-years.NEI Senior Vice President Marv Fertal issued the following statement:
Indian Point’s two units in Buchanan, N.Y., generate more than 2,000 megawatts
(2 million kilowatts) of clean and affordable power, enough to meet between 18 and 38 percent of the lower Hudson Valley’s and New York City’s electricity needs on any given day. Unlike oil, coal or even natural gas fired plants the facility produces none of the greenhouse gases and other pollutants that contribute to global warming.
“Since our purchase of Indian Point five years ago, we have invested hundreds of millions in enhanced security and safety features for these two critically important components of New York State’s energy infrastructure,” Kansler said during a press conference at the Riverfront Library in Yonkers, NY. “We are enormously proud and honored to own and operate them and I know I speak for each and every one of our employees, many of whom live in the region.”
As part of its ongoing effort to constantly improve security, Entergy has worked closely with the team of security experts at Giuliani Partners, the consulting firm headed by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani who said Indian Point “has endeavored to continually keep its security at the highest level.”
Giuliani said that his firm came to that conclusion based on their “extensive and ongoing review” of the security measures and training procedures at Indian Point, including the use of highly realistic “force-on-force” drills whereby mock terrorists, played in some instances by former US Navy Seals, have tested the plant’s security defenses.
Meanwhile, Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder and former leader of the international environmental organization Greenpeace, explained how his one time opposition to nuclear power because of the emergence of compelling scientific facts. He now views nuclear energy as an important ally in the effort to halt global warming. Dr. Moore has been joined in recent years by a growing number of environmentalists who have cautioned against a knee jerk opposition to a technology that now provides 20 percent of our nation’s electrical supply.
“There are obviously some who might find it surprising that a co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace would have anything good to say about nuclear power. But climate change is a serious and growing problem today and nuclear energy holds the greatest potential to meet that threat,” Dr. Moore said.
“In downstate New York, which has arguably the worst air quality of any region in the country due to high levels of ozone and particulate pollution, emission-free nuclear power is an absolutely critical part of the equation to cost effectively secure cleaner air. It is well established that this pollution has harmful health effects, especially for children and the elderly, and needs to be addressed now,” said Dr. Moore.
A recent National Academy of Sciences study also warned that the loss of Indian Point’s 2,000 megawatts would result in higher levels of environmentally harmful greenhouse gas emissions because the bulk of the replacement power would necessitate the burning of dirtier fossil fuels.
Although the NAS study said it might be “technically feasible “ to shutdown Indian Point, it concluded that to do so would mean sharply higher electricity bills and exacerbate the volatile price swings that have plagued the natural gas market in recent years.
Among the key supporters present was Jerry Kremer, the retired chairman of the New York Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee who now serves as the Advisory Board Chairman of the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (NYArea), a group of more than 100 business organizations, labor unions, and community leaders who strongly favor the continued operation of Indian Point.
“With electricity demand soaring, a dearth of new plants being constructed or planned because of the expiration of the state’s power plant siting law, Indian Point is more important and beneficial to the downstate region than ever,” said Kremer, adding, “This announcement could not have come at a better time.”
While acknowledging that the decision to seek re-licensing for Indian Point would raise “understandable concerns” for some, Kansler nonetheless urged all members of the community --particularly elected officials -- to keep an open mind and avoid a “rush to judgment” while the Nuclear Regulatory Commission evaluates the company’s request; a process that he promised would amount to “a rigorous top to bottom review of Indian Point based on an exhaustive examination of the facts.”
“Indian Point is a vital source of electricity production for the Hudson Valley and New York City today. It will be even more important for New York’s future economic growth within the region’s greenhouse gas reduction program. Entergy’s success is testimony to its highly skilled, highly trained employees and their dedication to excellence in safety and efficient operations.For more on Indian Point and the vital role it plays in providing reliable and affordable electricity to the New York metropolitan area, click here.
“An additional 20 years of reliable electricity production at Indian Point would best serve consumers who benefit from this clean and affordable source of energy. The process for renewing licenses at nuclear power plants is a rigorous, disciplined process that closely examines the safety and environmental record of these facilities.
“In considering applications for renewing nuclear plant licenses, the NRC has a two-year comprehensive and transparent process in which the company must demonstrate that it can operate the plant safely during this additional period. To date, the owners of 47 of the 103 nuclear power reactors have received license renewals, with nine currently in the relicensing process.”
Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Power, Energy, Technology, Environment, Electricity, New York, Indian Point