New Law May Cause Major Dely for Dismantling Indian Point
For what feels like forever now, New York State, its governing officials, administrators and citizens have all been dealing with the decision to shut down and dismantle the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC).
The decision itself was years if not decades in the making and even up to today it has not come without its fair share of controversy. This brings us to this past week, where it appears that the latest chapter of the saga is beginning to unfold.
The Tear Down and Dismantling of Indian Point
Believe it or not, it has already been over two years since the Indian Point Energy Center officially shut down. On April 30, 2021, the last of the facility's nuclear reactors was officially shut down and the plant ceased its operations. The plant itself had three reactors that all functioned at one point in time or another, according to City Journal, the first reactor was shut down back in 1974 and the second in 2020.
Since IPEC ceased operations, the conversation has been centered around the best way to dismantle the facility. Holtec, a literal worldwide powerhouse in the world of energy, has been placed in charge of dismantling the IPEC but last week the company made news when they announced that the project itself may take much longer than originally anticipated.
Holtec announced that because of a law passed in New York State this past Summer, the entire process of decommissioning may "...halt its efforts for eight years".
According to Spectrum News, the law in question that has seemingly caused this bump in the road was signed into law by Governor Hochul, prohibiting the release of wastewater into the Hudson River. The shutdown of the plant as well as this new law on wastewater have been strongly supported by environmental activists, yet these decisions have also had devastating consequences.
New York Wastewater Law Aftermath
For those unaware, the Indian Point Energy Center is located right here in the Hudson Valley in the Village of Buchanan in Westchester County.
The shutdown and decommissioning of the plant was undeniably a massive hit to the local economy; Theresa Knickerbocker, the Mayor of Buchanan stated that the village lost "half" its revenue once the facility was closed.
With the closing of the plant, plans needed to be made in order to help the village rebound and attempt to regain some of that lost revenue. The report states that plans were drawn up to rezone the 60-acres of land that the facility resided on, but with this latest announcement from Holtec, those plans have seemingly been shelved and the village is now metaphorically stuck spinning its wheels.
Following the announcement by Holtec, their Director of Communications and Government Affairs, Pat O'Brien, stated that Holtec will be making adjustments on their end to ..."evaluate other options" for taking the site down, while at the same time continuing to comply with federal government guidelines with nuclear wastewater discharge.
Mayor Knickerbocker stated that she plans to speak with state lawmakers in the near future to talk about the future of the village and ultimately what is at stake as the possibility of waiting nearly a decade to redevelop is on the table. The potential for more news regarding this issue could very well be around the corner as there is a meeting scheduled for December 6 for the Decommissioning Oversight Board, the board being in charge of ensuring that the site is "...cleaned up in a safe, thorough and prompt manner".
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