Entergy Comments on DEC Staff’s Proposal for Forced Outages at Indian Point: Unnecessary, Inconsistent with Regulatory Precedent, and Harmful to Electric Reliability, Air Quality, and the Economic Viability of New York

Fred Dacimo, vice president of License Renewal for Entergy Nuclear Operations, testified this week at a public hearing relating to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation staff’s proposal for Indian Point. The proposal seeks to require permanent, simultaneous outages at both Indian Point units annually for 42, 62 or 92 days, or a combination of a cooling tower at one unit and permanent outages at the other unit. Calling the DEC staff’s proposal “a terrible idea for Indian Point, New Yorkers, and our environment,” Dacimo’s testimony contended that forced outages are not grounded in science, run contrary to DEC practice, and ignore a proven smarter solution that will resolve concerns about Indian Point’s aquatic impacts.

“Forcing Indian Point to shut down every summer – which is not even a technology at all – poses serious consequences to human health and safety, the New York economy, and the local environment while failing to guarantee any measurable benefit to an already healthy fish population.” Dacimo said at the hearing.

Noting that Indian Point right now is fully protective of the Hudson River ecosystem and operates in accordance with its state and federal permits, Dacimo illustrated the numerous implications of the unnecessary forced summertime outages: more pollution resulting from the need to replace Indian Point’s emissions-free energy with fossil fuels; more expensive power, as Indian Point’s lower cost power is taken off the market; and an increased chance of brownouts or even blackouts if Indian Point were turned off when demand is highest.

“All of these impacts might be worth considering if outages at Indian Point were actually necessary to protect fish eggs and larvae, but they are not,” Dacimo concluded, “Even if there were a need, Entergy has already proposed Wedgewire screens– a technology that has none of the negative impacts discussed, and reduces the entrainment and impingement of fish eggs and larvae more that most of NYSDEC Staff’s outage proposals do.”

Entergy is currently seeking a 20-year license renewal for Indian Point. While the state must approve the plant’s water quality and water discharge permits, the DEC staff’s decision and Entergy’s subsequent filing is separate from the NRC’s ongoing review process. More information and a copy of Mr. Dacimo’s full testimony can be found at http://www.safesecurevital.com/newsroom/press-releases.html.

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