The Westchester County Executive also asked for a longer public-comment period. Only 2 comments have been received online by the NRC.
The owner of Indian Point wants to sell the nuclear power plants to a decommissioning firm. (Entergy)
CORTLANDT, NY — As federal officials consider approving the sale of Indian Point to a company that would decommission the nuclear plant, store radioactive materials and clean up the property, the Westchester County Executive has asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for more oversight.
Many Hudson Valley residents are concerned about Entergy’s plan to sell Indian Point units 1, 2 and 3 to Holtec Decommissioning International. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing Entergy’s application. Holtec has estimated the cleanup of the Hudson riverfront property will cost $2.3 billion. The company has also asked the NRC to let it divert $632 million from New York’s nuclear plant decommissioning trust fund to cover the cost of managing the highly radioactive spent fuel rods.
If anyone wants the NRC to hold a hearing on the application, they must file a request by Feb. 12, said the commission’s spokesman, Neil Sheehan.
County Executive George Latimer is demanding such a hearing plus more public transparency from both Holtec and the NRC. He sent letters Feb. 10 co-signed by other local and state leaders to both.
“Westchester County stands to be greatly impacted by the actions of the NRC, Entergy and Holtec and it is imperative we are giving the most complete information and an opportunity to question this information,” he said in a press statement. “These two letters serve as Westchester taking charge of that process.”
In the letter to NRC Secretary Annette L. Vietti-Cook, Latimer called on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to both extend the public comment period for the license transfer application of IPEC by Entergy to Holtec from 30 to 60 days, and to hold a local public hearing regarding Entergy’s application.
The public comment window is open until Feb. 24. So far two comments have been received online by the NRC about Entergy’s application.
You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
- Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2020-0021. Address questions about NRC docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301-287-9127; email: Jennifer.Borges@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.
- Email comments to: Hearing.Docket@nrc.gov. If you do not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact us at 301-415-1677.
- Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 301-415-1101.
- Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.
- Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal workdays; telephone: 301-415-1677.
In part, Latimer’s letter to the NRC states: “The short and long-term impacts of a license transfer for decommissioning purposes will be very significant economically and environmentally to Westchester and the surrounding area. Thirty days is simply an insufficient public comment period for a proposal that is complicated, technical and will have repercussions for generations.
“The size and scope of the project, limited experience with decommissioning plants of this size, uncertainties regarding the transportation, storage, and disposal of radioactive material, impacts on the local economy, the level of financing required, and the myriad questions local communities have raised regarding a project of this magnitude more than justify the need for an extended public comment period and a local public hearing.”
The letter to Holtec offers to host a hearing at the Westchester County Center.
“The presentation made by Holtec to the Citizens Advisory Panel on January 15 in Buchanan regarding the proposed PSDAR was informative, but also raised many questions,” Latimer wrote. “Therefore, as elected officials representing constituents in Westchester County, along with the Westchester County Board of Legislators, the New York State Senate and Assembly, delegations, and the municipal governments of the Cities, Towns and Villages of Westchester, we jointly request that Holtec meet with us, so we can better understand your proposed plans for decommissioning and provide you with local input. Westchester County is offering to host the meeting at the County Center in March.”
By Lanning Taliaferro