Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Indian Point Seeks License Renewal

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.

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.”
NEI Senior Vice President Marv Fertal issued the following statement:
“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.

“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.”
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.

More later.

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15 comments:

Paul Primavera said...

Hip, Hip, Hooray!

This is WONDERFUL news. Who knows- maybe my 2 year old son or 5 year old daughter will eventually work at IPEC as their old man once did some years ago.

gunter said...

Hi,

You missed the simultaneous announcement in the 11.22.2006 New York Journal News article that groundwater under Indian Point is contaminated with strontium 90 at levels seven times higher than previously reported by Entergy.

Gunter, NIRS

Paul Primavera said...

Gunter,

So? The coal fired plant owned by Mirant across the Hudson river released more radioactivity into the environment than exists from IPEC's Sr-90. It's a moot point.

BTW, I think because of air pollution concerns, that coal plant has been or will be shut down. That makes IPEC's 2000 MW all the more indispensible. And with the loss of the coal plant, there'll be even less radioactivity dumped into the environment. Everyone wins!

Don Kosloff said...

I wish the Chinese hadn't put that Strontium there with their atmospheric nuclear weapons testing. But even if they hadn't, the fallout from Chernobyl would have added some. Too bad you can't trust socialists with nuclear fuel.

I wonder how much of that Indian Point groundwater I would have to drink to get a health benefit?

Brian Mays said...

It's communists that you cant trust with nuclear fuel. The socialists (i.e., France) seem to be doing pretty well with it.

GRLCowan said...

Strontium produced at Indian Point could have been produced recently. If produced by bombs or Chernobyl, not. Have tests been done to put some limits on the groundwater strontium's age?

--- G. R. L. Cowan, former H2 fan
Oxygen expands around boron fire, car goes

gunter said...

Guys... the source is Indian Point, likely a leaking Unit 1 fuel pool.

Brian, speaking of socialism and France, did you notice the potential seachange with their politic led by the rising candidacy of Ms. Royale who recently spoke out on France's "excessive" dependence on nuclear power?

Gunter, NIRS

gunter said...

Guys... the source is Indian Point, likely a leaking Unit 1 fuel pool.

Brian, speaking of socialism and France, did you notice the potential seachange with their politic led by the rising candidacy of Ms. Royale who recently spoke out on France's "excessive" dependence on nuclear power?

Gunter, NIRS

Anonymous said...

If Royale with cheese goes after the French nuclear program, it would be incredibly stupid. Literally killing the goose that laid the golden egg to have a turkey dinner (or maybe a dinner for turkeys). France is a net exporter of electricity. Their neighbors are beholden to them for clean, economical, reliable energy. It is probably the only major European country with even a ghost of a chance of meeting the Kyoto emissions goals. Any politican who goes after their one successful energy program would probably go down as one of the most anal politcal "leaders" in history.

Starvid, Sweden said...

Every time someone brings up the argument that Sweden (or France in this case) is to higly reliant on nuclear energy and should diversify, I always think about something Warren Buffet once said.

Diversification is a protection against ignorance. It makes very little sense for those who know what they're doing.

Starvid, Sweden said...

And Brian,

The Chinese seem to be doing fine with nuclear power. But maybe they shouldn't be called communists anymore, maybe state capitalist authoritarians, or fascists?

Anonymous said...

Here's the original article on the Indian Point strontium levels. It's implicit but clear that the Entergy/Teledyne August readings were a drop on previously reported levels which were compatible with the NRC/DEC August figures. So gunter's statement implying that there is now more strontium than ever is wrong.

I'd be interested how the "seven times higher" can be justified too. Between the 2-6 pCi/l and 5-30 pCi/l ranges you could perhaps justify "five times" but no more. Even the normally bold headline writers shy away from "fifteen times" which is the maximum "pick a number at random" figure.

For comparison, the human body has a normal radioactivity level of about 1500 pCi/l.

Brian Mays said...

Starvid, Sweden said...

"The Chinese seem to be doing fine with nuclear power. But maybe they shouldn't be called communists anymore, maybe state capitalist authoritarians, or fascists?"

Well, the Chinese have certainly gotten their act together, and are functioning quite well as a capitalist entity these days. They really are more of a communist corporation competing in the global market -- let's call them China, Inc.

China, Inc., is moving forward with new plants, but they are still importing them from the west. The Chinese are smart, however, and with each import they demand not only the plant, but the technology as well. So while the current generation of plants will be built by westerners, the next generation will be built by the Chinese themselves.


gunter chimed in with...

"Brian, speaking of socialism and France, did you notice the potential seachange with their politic led by the rising candidacy of Ms. Royale who recently spoke out on France's "excessive" dependence on nuclear power?"

French politics is amazing, isn't it? I really don't think it's possible to have a genuine feeling for it on that side of the Atlantic (i.e., in the US). You have to see some of it for yourself before you begin to understand what French politicians will say and why they say it. French politics is bizarre.

For example, I doubt many Americans realize exactly how many (party-supported) candidates there are for each presidential election in France. There are quite a lot. Did you know that in the last election there was a "Hunting and Fishing" party that put forth their own candidate? (I am not making this up!)

So Madame Royale did a little pandering in a letter that she sent to an anti-nuclear group in France. Considering that she is currently being criticized by many in her party as being too "right-wing" (i.e., too centrist), I'm not surprised that she is trying to shore up some of the traditional left support like the anti-nukes. I notice however that she says that she would like to reduce nuclear's share "gradually" (how gradually? she doesn't say). Well, even if the politics is strange, I guess politicians are the same the world over.

So, hardly a "sea change," unless you happen to live in a very small pond.

GingerMary said...

If you want to see strange politics try Africa. No logic applies. I agree about China Inc. They have something going that is working well and slowly making the world dependant on them. Perhaps they will do the same with nuclear?

GRLCowan said...

There was a recent, obviously deceitful attempt to suggest 90-Sr from local nuclear power stations was appearing in the teeth of babies raised off-site. Perhaps 'gunter' has established some reputation for integrity by denouncing that.

Indian Point 1 started up in the early 60s. I couldn't find out when its foundation was laid, but a late-50s year consistent with atmospheric nuclear testing still occurring on land in the USA seems possible. Was Kosloff thinking China's first test was about when IP1 started up? Nevada is closer and a few years earlier.

--- G. R. L. Cowan, former H2 fan
Oxgyen expands around B fire, car goes