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Indian Point decommissioning: A new era on the Hudson

Riverkeeper to keep a watchful eye during Indian Point decommissioning

Indian Point decommissioning oversightMay 28, 2021 marked a new era for Indian Point as it officially entered its decommissioning phase as its license transfers from Entergy to Holtec International. The transfer —  and its approval earlier this month — follows the permanent closure of the aging nuclear power plant at the end of April. To safeguard the decommissioning process, Riverkeeper is proud to accept the appointment of our Legal Director Richard Webster to New York State’s Indian Point Nuclear Decommissioning Oversight Board.

The Board (abbreviated as DOB) ensures a coordinated and comprehensive state oversight effort that is transparent and inclusive of the public.  Its establishment was a critical aspect of the agreement made by Riverkeeper, the State of New York, local municipalities, and the Public Utility Law Project with Holtec International and its subsidiaries regarding the decommissioning and cleanup of Indian Point. 

Its primary duties are:

  • Assess decommissioning activities at Indian Point and how to protect the financial, environmental, and physical interests of the communities affected, making recommendations to both the facility owner and regulatory agencies as warranted.
  • Provide a forum for public outreach, education, and dialogue on matters related to decommissioning and spent fuel management.

As a member of the DOB, Riverkeeper recognizes the tremendous responsibility of decommissioning oversight and is committed to ensuring that no corners are cut during this essential and lengthy process. We will bring our years of experience on Indian Point and environmental issues to bear, and will scrutinize all activities. We will also continue to advance transparency through the DOB, to promote public input and access to information. 

In addition, as a signatory to the license transfer agreement, Riverkeeper will advocate for compliance with all terms in the agreement for the swift, complete, and safe decommissioning and remediation of the facility and site. We believe this is the most comprehensive agreement in the nation regarding decommissioning, providing strict State oversight of Holtec, a robust financial assurance package, and commitment to complete environmental remediation. As the Public Service Commission recognized, it backstops inadequate NRC oversight with robust state oversight and ensures the public will stay informed about how the decommissioning is progressing. It also allows the decommissioning to start promptly, so that we can now look forward to a new productive use for the Indian Point site within as little as 15 years.

Riverkeeper thanks the Department of Public Service for the opportunity to sit on the DOB and promises the public that we will not rest until the safe and thorough decommissioning of Indian Point is complete.

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