As we draw closer to the closure date for the last reactor at Indian Point there remain a few people who still think that it should not close.  What they are saying and trying to do will have no effect on the legal arrangements in place.  It does however raise doubts in the mind of the general public.  

It is important to respond when you see an article decrying the closure. Be welcome to use any information in the following article to set the record straight.

Marilyn Elie

EditorDaily Star

Re: Indian Point

The April 16  article by Denis Higens is based on several misconceptions and is just not accurate.
Will you please consider the submission below as an opinion piece in order to set the record straight?

Marilyn Elie
Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition
United 4 Clean Energy

c 914. 954. 6739

The recent article in the Daily Star by Dennis Higens was based on several  common misconceptions. The first is calling nuclear power carbon free.  It is not. Like anything that is manufactured it has a green house gas pricetag.   While it is low for nuclear, it still needs to be counted. 

His emphasis on “firm baseload”  generation is also misplaced.  Our future grid will be one that stress distributed generation that is quick on and quick off when not needed. Something that nuclear reactors cannot do. 

A grid that runs on distributed generation, that is, generation from multiple, smaller sources,  is a stronger grid.  It means that  generation will no longer be tied to  the output from single large units. It will come from many smaller, more efficient sources that are much closer to where the electricity is generated. We will build fewer generating units as a result. There is no need to “over build.”  In order to meet peek demand as was suggested in his article.  

New York State  has taken a strong position in cutting greenhouse gases and meeting the challenges of climate change.  The New York Department of State, Bureau of Ocean Management evaluated the closing of Indian Point and found that closing the reactors would not raise the overall production of greenhouse gasses.  It denied Entergy a critical water discharge permit because it was not in the best interest of good coastal management.

Contrary to common wisdom, our need for electricity is decreaing.not increasing.  This is documented by the New York Independent Service Operators, the guardians of our grid. This is due to efficiency, conservation, demand response, and  improved transmission. The other factor is the rapid increase in behind the meter solar panels on home rooftops that do not impact land usage at all.  Plans have been launched for off shore wind turbines where the wind is always blowing.  It is estimated that this new source of electricity will be on line in three years, if not before.

Indian Point was not  benign to the Hudson River ecosystem.  It was cited as having a big role in the decrease in ocean fish stocks because of the vast amount of water used in its cooling systems.  Billions of fish larvae were routinely sucked in and killed as they tried to make their way from the river where they were hatched back to the ocean.  13 native species of fish native to the Hudson River are now listed as endangered.  The heated discharge from the cooling system also impacted life in the River.

Renewables are poised to take off in New York. As in many other countries their intermittency will become part of routine  grid management.  This has happened in Germany.  Grid operators quickly learn when they can draw on wind and solar.  Over a period of a year it is highly predictable. New York has over 300 generators so there are lots of sources to choose from.

And of course there is the issue of the high level radioactive waste that was produced by the reactors. It will be on site for years to come.  It is Lethal for 140,000 years, and is the toxic legacy that we have bequeathed to future generations.  Now at least, no more will be produced .

We will all be safer and better off when this old and dangerous reactor is finally shuttered.