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State AG Cites 'Multiple, Grave Concerns' Over Indian Point Nuclear Plant Decommissioning

Attorney General Letitia James has expressed concerns over the decommissioning of Indian Point.
Attorney General Letitia James has expressed concerns over the decommissioning of Indian Point. Photo Credit: Contributed

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has expressed “multiple, grave concerns” about the decommissioning of Indian Point Energy Center in Westchester.

On Thursday, Jan. 23, it was announced that the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission accepted an application from the owner of Indian Point to transfer the power plant to Holtec International for decommissioning.

In response, James spoke out with her concerns over Holtec’s lack of experience.

“It is essential that the decommissioning of Indian Point be rapid, complete, and safe,” she said in a statement. “In that light, I have multiple, grave concerns about the application now before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that would hand off the responsibility for Indian Point’s decommissioning to a company with absolutely no experience in such an enormous, complex, and consequential undertaking.

Three years ago, Entergy - Indian Point’s owner - announced it would be shutting down the power plant in 2021. One reactor is scheduled to be decommissioned this spring, with a second planned to go down next year.

Last week, Holtec presented its plan to the public, stating that it will earmark more than $2 billion to tear down the plant.

James has also led a coalition of 12 states in supporting Massachusetts’s challenge to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s approval for the transfer of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station’s license to Holtec without allowing the Commonwealth a proper hearing to addresses its concerns about Holtec’s ability to successfully oversee the facility’s decommissioning.

James vowed to take the issue to court to ensure the “health, safety, and well-being” of New York residents.

“I am committed to ensuring – through legal action if necessary – that the State of New York is granted full participation in this application proceeding and all other decision-making related to Indian Point’s decommissioning. The health, safety, and well-being of New Yorkers deserve nothing less.”

In response, officials from Entergy said that “Entergy and Holtec will continue to work with stakeholders, including federal and state regulators, to share information which demonstrates the enormous benefits of Holtec’s plan for the decommissioning of Indian Point decades sooner than would otherwise be possible. The Holtec team has substantial experience in decommissioning and managing used nuclear fuel at IP and facilities around the world.”

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