Entergy on proposal to force outages at Indian Point

Vice President of License Renewal for Entergy Nuclear Operations Fred Dacimo testified today at a public hearing relating to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) staff proposal for Indian Point, calling the proposal “a terrible idea for Indian Point, New Yorkers, and our environment.”

The proposal seeks to require permanent, simultaneous outages at both Indian Point units annually for 42, 62 or 92 days, or a combination of a cooling tower at one unit and permanent outages at the other unit.  Dacimo’s testimony contended that forced outages are not grounded in science, run contrary to DEC practice, and ignore a proven smarter solution that will resolve concerns about Indian Point’s aquatic impacts.

Entergy said forcing outages at Indian Point is unnecessary and inconsistent with regulatory precedent.  Dacimo also noted in his testimony that it would have serious consequences to human health and safety, the New York economy, and the local environment.

Noting that Indian Point right now is fully protective of the Hudson River ecosystem and operates in accordance with its state and federal permits, Dacimo illustrated the numerous implications of the unnecessary forced summertime outages.  These include more pollution resulting from the need to replace Indian Point’s emissions-free energy with fossil fuels; more expensive power, as Indian Point’s lower cost power is taken off the market; and an increased chance of brownouts or even blackouts if Indian Point were turned off when demand is highest.

Entergy is currently seeking a 20-year license renewal for Indian Point. While the state must approve the plant’s water quality and water discharge permits, the DEC staff’s decision and Entergy’s subsequent filing is separate from the NRC’s ongoing review process.

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