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.
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.
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.
New York State agencies have invested countless hours to ensure that the impact of the closure of the power plant on local communities would be mitigatedto the fullest extent possible. The Indian Point Closure Task Force created by Governor Cuomo in 2017 worked with local governments to plan for a future without Indian Point and mitigate local tax and workforce impacts, and the state stands ready to continue assisting local governments in that effort.
Governor Cuomo further called for the creation of a Decommissioning Oversight Board to advise on and assess how to protect the financial, environmental, and physical interests of the communities affected by decommissioning, including the interests of the current workforce as it relates to continuing the public safety of the surrounding communities.
The Public Service Commission is currently reviewing the sale of Indian Point from Entergy Corp. to a new owner, Holtec.
Current Entergy employees are being offered jobs at other facilities, and the state continues working with affected workers to gain access to new jobs in the power and utility sector.
Tax payments from plant owner Entergy will remain in place through 2021 and ramp down gradually following closure. In addition, the taxing jurisdictions will be eligible to receive seven years of financial assistance from the State's power plant cessation mitigation program administered by Empire State Development.
Additionally, at the request of the Indian Point host communities and others earlier this year, the state Public Service Commission adopted a stable funding mechanism that provides a long term funding source for the program to ensure greater program certainty. ■