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.
Business Council member Entergy participated in an “Editorial Spotlight” with The Journal News last week to discuss the Indian Point Energy Center’s operations and license renewal.
Entergy Wholesale Commodities President Bill Mohl, Vice President of Operations License Renewal Fred Dacimo, Vice President of External Affairs Michael Twomey, and Communications Manager Jerry Nappi discussed the importance of Indian Point’s continued operation and the economic, environmental, and grid reliability benefits it provides for New York City and State. They highlighted Indian Point’s value as a vital economic engine and its critical function in helping to stabilize power costs, enhance grid reliability, and improve air quality in the region.
Mohl stressed that three key objectives must be met in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of an electric system: reliable service to customers; environmental sustainability; and economic sustainability for both customers and investors. He noted Indian Point’s essential role in helping the state meet those goals.
Entergy is in the 8th year of an open and very comprehensive license renewal process. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has recommended that Indian Point’s operating license be renewed for another 20 years following comprehensive and detailed safety and environmental reviews.
Spokesman Jerry Nappi said, “We believe the continued operation of existing nuclear facilities, aligns with New York’s key principles, such as the need for an energy source that is safe, clean and reliable. Nuclear power generated by Indian Point provides 25 percent of the electricity for New York City and Westchester with virtually no greenhouse gas emissions.”
In addressing the topic of the plant’s environmental impact, Entergy officials said they are confident that Indian Point’s operations are fully protective of the Hudson River, and that claims to the contrary are not supported by the facts or the evidence. They noted that more than $100 million has been spent on studying the Hudson River’s ecosystem for more than 25 years and determined that Indian Point has no harmful impact on adult fish populations in the Hudson River.
Entergy stressed its proven track record of operating the Indian Point plants safely and re-affirmed its commitment to working closely with the NRC to ensure the continued safety of the facility.
To watch the webcast of Entergy’s meeting with The Journal News, please click here.