‘Aging, Long-Troubled’ Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Closes
Officials say Hudson Valley residents can "breathe a sigh of relief."
On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a press release "the aging and long-troubled Indian Point nuclear power plant" on the eastern shore of the Hudson River in Westchester County will officially close for good on Friday, as planned.
The 2,000-megawatt nuclear power plant, located 24 miles north of New York City, had presented numerous threats to the safety of over 19 million people who live or work in the New York metropolitan area and its environmental health, officials say.
"Since my time as Attorney General, I have been deeply concerned with the safety of the Indian Point nuclear power facility. It does not belong on the Hudson River and in close proximity to the most densely populated area in the country," Cuomo stated. "After years of relentless work together with federal, state, and local officials, we found a path to safely and responsibly close Indian Point, ending the threat the plant has long-posed to an area that is vitally important to our state, the nation, and the world. 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."
Over the years, Indian Point has suffered from safety and operational problems, including faulty baffle bolts that help secure the reactor vessels and various leaks and fires.
"For more than a decade, New York State has worked to shut down Indian Point and today millions of New Yorkers living in this facility's shadow can breathe a sigh of relief," New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said. As we continue our transition to a safer and cleaner energy future for our state, we must prioritize public safety and environmental protection. I commend everyone who worked to close Indian Point and now we must ensure a thorough and rigorous cleanup of this site."
Located in the Village of Buchanan in Westchester County, the Indian Point site includes three power reactors, two spent fuel pools, and various support facilities and infrastructure, generators, transformers, radioactive spent nuclear fuel, petroleum storage facilities, waste storage facilities, water intake and outflow facilities and structures, and piers. The densely populated surrounding region lacks viable evacuation routes in the event of a disaster, and the plant experienced more than 40 troubling safety and operational events and unit shutdowns since 2012, according to Cuomo's office.
"The closing of Indian Point will impact the region and its residents in many ways, and I am very thankful to all of the workers there who dedicated their blood, sweat and expertise into running the plant safely. We have been working collaboratively for a just transition that protects the plant's workers, the environment and public safety while maintaining tax revenue for the affected municipalities and local school district," Senator Peter Harckham said.