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Indian Point Owner Hopes For Deal With N.Y.

Entergy Corp. aims to negotiate agreements with New York state officials over its plans to continue operating the Indian Point nuclear power plant rather than spend years in litigation, the company’s top executive said Tuesday.

The company has been struggling to win a New York water-quality permit it needs to obtain a federal license to continue operating the plant for several more years. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said the plant is too close to New York City and should be closed.

In a conference call with analysts Tuesday, Entergy CEO J. Wayne Leonard indicated that pursuing lawsuits — as the company has in Vermont, which passed legislation to block its plant’s continued operation past March 2012 —  is not the only option.

“We do continue to develop scenarios that would be in [everyone’s] best interest, versus protracted litigation, and we’re open to ideas,”  he said. “Hopefully it wouldn’t have to go to all nine innings.”

Entergy faces opposition among some New York officials to the company’s plans to continue operating Indian Point beyond the plant’s current operating licenses, which expire in 2013 and 2015. Entergy has applied to the NRC for new licenses to operate Indian Point another 20 years. But the company also needs a water-quality permit from New York state.

In April, New York regulators ruled the plant’s use of Hudson River water to cool its turbines kills nearly a billion aquatic organisms a year and violated state and federal clean-water rules. The state Department of Environmental Conservation ruled the company would have to install a costly closed-loop cooling system to continue operating the plant.

Entergy has continued to press for approval of an alternative, less costly cooling system in a proceeding that is still pending.

Leonard declined to discuss details of the company’s talks with Vermont and New York officials, although he did suggest the litigation against Vermont could drag on, possibly for years.

“This litigation could well continue for an extended period of time, given the potential for appeals to the Second (U.S.) Circuit (Court of Appeals) and a writ to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Leonard said.

(Source: WSJ)

3 Responses

  1. we need the Indian Point nuclear power plant , otherwise we will have no electric here in new york city , that is unless the new york state power authority gives us the cheap electricity that is produced by Niagara falls

  2. But if they close Indian Point, New York can have more blackouts and brownouts, not to mention even higher electric bills – which of course will drive even more people to move to states with rational energy policies, which will reduce the demand for electricity – so I guess the government’s policy has some sort of logic to it. After all, if the goal is to depopulate New York, we can’t rely on high taxes alone.

  3. No matter what, it will be used as an excuse to hike bills. If it stays open they’ll ask for more because “it’s expensive to operate”. If it shuts down they’ll say they need more because “it costs more not to operate it”.
    And our state legislature will OK it either way.

    As far as safety is concerned, just look at Japan; it’s much cheaper to learn from someone else’s mistake than your own.

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