Environmental Groups: NY Can Replace Indian Point Power

New Paltz, NY – Two environmental groups are calling for the replacement of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in Westchester County - they say it can be done and have issued reports sharing their findings. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is among the strongest voices calling for Indian Point to be shut down. The plant in Buchanan, just south of Peekskill, powers 2 million homes, supplying about one-quarter of the electricity used in New York City and Westchester County.

The Natural Resources Defense Council and Riverkeeper say the region has enough surplus energy to replace Indian Point with "cleaner, safer energy sources," with no impact to the reliability of electric service.

Indian Point s owner Entergy Nuclear, is seeking a 20 year extension for the reactor s licenses which are up for renewal in 2015.

Two reports released Monday by the NRDC argue against renewal. One report deals with the abundance of alternative energy sources, while the other states that an accident at Indian Point could cause a catastrophe worse than the disaster in Fukushima, Japan.

NRDC President Frances Beinecke says Wind and solar power alone could supply enough electricity to fully replace Indian Point. Indian Point spokesman Jerry Nappi did not return calls for comment in time for broadcast. Indian Point s owners are on record saying that a Japan-like accident- involving an earthquake and tsunami - could not happen in Buchanan.

Ashok Gupta, director of Energy Policy for the NRDC, argues that there are a number of feasible alternatives to Indian Point. Jerry Kremer, chairs the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance: he takes an opposing view.

Robert Kennedy Jr., Chief Prosecuting Attorney for Riverkeeper and Senior Attorney at NRDC, says even a small disaster at Indian Point could require the evacuation of all 8.5 million people in New York City and end up costing New York 1 trillion dollars; he insists that there's "plenty" of wind available. Jerry Kremer insists New York is not a good fit for wind or sun-based energy.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has determined the two Indian Point reactors are safe to run for another 20 years.

Here's a link to the NRDC reports.