America’s past and future energies were exhibited at Indian Point, a nuclear power plant 25 miles north, on Friday. New York A city that has been generating electricity since 1962.
At 11:00 am, the last reactor turbine in the dilapidated plant shut down, ending a long political conflict.At the same time, the wind and sun on the Hudson River next to the vegetation of the state The future of energy..
Environmentalists and politicians describe the plant as a threat to millions. Many welcomed the closure.
“There are 20 million people living within 50 miles of Indian Point, and there is no way to evacuate them in the event of a radiation release,” Paul Gallay, president of the environmental group Riverkeeper, told The Associated Press.
In part, the factory was destined for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Hijacked plane pilots used the river to navigate and warned politicians of the vulnerability of the reactor on the banks of Hudson.
“The plant was built to withstand a plane crash in the 1970s,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently. “Who knows what will happen at Indian Points now?”
In addition, nuclear power has lost its support as the cost of clean energy renewables has fallen.
In 2019, Indian Point provided 13% of New York State’s electricity. According to operator Entergy, that figure was about 25% downstream in New York City and the Hudson Valley. Under the 2017 agreement Another reactor between Cuomo, Riverkeeper and Enter G was shut down a year ago.
I felt gloomy in the town of Buchanan on Friday. The factory provided about 1,000 high-paying jobs and half of the town’s tax revenue. The long decommissioning process saves two-thirds of the work.
“It’s a sad day, the end of the era, which marks the loss of our biggest employer and taxpayer,” Buchanan Mayor Teresa Knickerbocker told the Guardian.
“I think people really didn’t understand nuclear power. I’m very disappointed that the clean energy plant has been replaced by two gas plants. We talk about the environment, but it’s environmentally sound. Not. “
As the Biden administration promotes fossil fuel-independent energy policies, there will inevitably be periods when more electricity is produced using gas-powered systems before wind and solar regain their slack.
Some have seen signs of political interference in the long battle over Indian points. 2017, Group environmental progress OK Two former Cuomo aides were working with the natural gas company Competitive Power Ventures. The episode was detailed in a federal indictment filed by a then-US lawyer for the Southern District of Manhattan.
“Based on reviews of published documents and interviews with witnesses, including employees. [Competitive Power Ventures]The importance of [CPV Valley Energy Center] Whether it was at least partially dependent on the state [Indian Point] It was supposed to be shut down. ” Preet Barara wrote..
According to Nuclear New York, a group that opposes closure, Indian Point produces 81% of down-state clean energy, with solar and hydropower accounting for 2% and 4%. Fossil fuels make up 67% of the state’s total production.
“We’re heading in the wrong direction,” said group activist Plumira Malik, who closed Indian points and increased power generation from hydraulic fracturing gas emissions from the state’s greenhouse gases. He added that the amount would increase by 10%.
“The community is poisoned by particulate matter,” Malik said.
The union also opposes the closure. “There are no positives, only negatives,” said James Shillitto, president of UWUA Local 1-2.
“The governor is for renewable energy,” he said. [It] It doesn’t happen with a magic wand. There is no equipment for offshore wind power underwater, and no practical solar power has yet been built. “
Over 20 large-scale renewable energy projects will be built this year. Cuomo promises 70% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% renewable energy 10 years from now.
“There are many hurdles to achieving that,” Shillitto said. “Nimvism will slow it down. Therefore, the closure of this plant today has left us with a hole of 1,000 MW. This closure concerns fears and unrealistic fears of a nuclear accident. The history here shows that 58 years have passed and there have been no problems. “
Critics have pointed out a history of safety, including defects in reactor bolts in groundwater at the site and radioactive tritium. Groups like riverkeepers say Indian points kill fish by taking in river water for cooling.
Gregory Jaczko, head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under Barack Obama and a lecturer at Princeton University, told Guardians that the future of carbon-free energy would be “exclusively non-nuclear.” ..
“The nuclear industry has not been a viable solution for carbon-free power generation,” he said, two of the four plants approved during the Obama era were abandoned and two. Said that he was behind schedule and exceeded his budget.
“Nuclear power is an expensive way to generate carbon-free electricity when there are new viable alternatives. Today, building renewable energy operates a nuclear power plant 40 years ago. It’s cheaper than continuing to do it. “
However, Jaczko did not object to the short-term increase in fossil fuel production.
“There may be times when the overall supply of electricity becomes more dependent on natural gas, but in the long run it tends to significantly reduce emissions,” he said.
Indian Point is currently facing a $ 2.3 billion decommissioning for 12 years, subject to approval by New Jersey-based Holtec International. In 2014, the company was quoted by Parents Donations to Republican funding after a large grant from the state’s then governor, Chris Christie.
According to Jaczko, decommissioning can cause problems given the aging of plants and the tendency of common nuclear reactors to show surprises.
“My biggest concern is that I have enough resources because it’s not a revenue-generating business,” he said. “If your existing funds don’t cover the cost, or if it’s not done correctly, you might expect to invoice the taxpayer.”
End of the Era: Nuclear Power Plant Closure is a Guide to New York’s Energy Future | New York
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