The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Monday renewed the licenses of Indian Point’s two working reactors for the years leading up to the Buchanan power plant’s 2021 shutdown and beyond.
The renewal of licenses for Units 2 and 3 comes after 11 years of regulatory review and years of litigation with the state of New York, which ended in 2017 when Indian Point’s owner, Louisiana-based Entergy, announced it had entered into an agreement to shut down operations.
“Indian Point is one of the most reliable electricity generating plants in New York state, and it repeatedly has been determined to be safely and securely operated,” Entergy’s chief nuclear officer Chris Bakken said Monday. “I congratulate our outstanding employees on achieving this milestone.”
Unit 2’s license will be good through 2024 and Unit 3’s until 2025, four years after each reactor is scheduled to be shut down.
Federal officials say the renewal date was extended in case the reactors are needed to provide power in an emergency, which would include war, terrorism, a sudden increase in demand for electricity or a sudden shortage of power-generating facilities.
“Entergy does not have any expectation that either unit will run beyond its scheduled shutdown in 2020 and 2021,” the company said in a statement.
Entergy applied for the licenses in 2007.
The company cited lower prices in the wholesale energy market, spurred by the low cost of abundant natural gas, as the primary reason behind its decision to shut down Indian Point.
Unit 2 had its last refueling and maintenance outage in April. Unit 3’s refueling is scheduled for the spring of next year.
By Thomas C. Zambito