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Beyond Indian Point

In January 2017, Riverkeeper won one of its longest battles — which spanned over five decades — when it joined New York State and Entergy in a historic agreement to close the aging and dangerous Indian Point nuclear power plant by April 2021.

Indian Point’s Unit 2 reactor, which went into service in August 1974, ceased operating at the end of April 2020, and the final reactor, Unit 3, shut down in April 2021.

In anticipation of the shutdown, Riverkeeper has prioritized efforts to ensure New York will have clean, renewable replacement energy after losing the 2,060 MW from Indian Point, and there’s good news on that front, too. The New York Independent System Operator — which coordinates the distribution of our electricity supply — confirmed that New York would have enough replacement power to supplant Indian Point’s output once it closed. Since the closure agreement was signed, enough clean energy and energy efficiency has come onto the grid to replace the first unit.

Further, Riverkeeper remains dedicated to protecting the Hudson River and the health and safety of the surrounding communities. We are building on our decades of advocacy around Indian Point to ensure that the decommissioning of this dangerous and antiquated facility is completed with the best interests of the local communities and environment in mind. Riverkeeper supports the prompt completion of the decommissioning of Indian Point, however, not at the expense of our safety.

Holtec International purchased Indian Point from Entergy on May 28, 2021 and is responsible for the decommissioning of the former nuclear power plant. Decommissioning the plant will include removing equipment and structures containing nuclear contaminants and safely storing spent nuclear fuel onsite. At a cost of approximately $2.3 billion, Holtec estimated the bulk of decommissioning work at Indian Point will be completed by 2033, and is now trying to delay the completion date.

On August 18th, Governor Hochul signed the Save the Hudson bill, which prohibits discharges of any radiological substance into the Hudson River in connection with the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant. This law makes it illegal for Holtec to discharge radioactive wastewater into the Hudson River. The wastewater contains tritium, a radioactive isotope with links to cancer. Riverkeeper is closely monitoring the State’s implementation of this groundbreaking law to ensure it is carried out as intended.

We continue to call for the secure on-site storage of the contaminated water on the Indian Point site for at least a period of 12 years. This would allow for one half-life to elapse and reduce the radioactivity of the spent fuel pool water, and protect the economic interests of the state while alternative disposal methods are thoroughly evaluated.

As of October 16, 2023 all spent fuel at Indian Point nuclear power plant has been moved to dry cask storage, which means the risk of a catastrophic nuclear accident is now greatly reduced. Since we’re depending on the casks to keep us safe, Riverkeeper’s goal is to increase monitoring. The current “aging management protocol” only looks at the single most vulnerable cask – which is impossible to identify – every five years.

Moreover, Riverkeeper is committed to ensuring containment and remediation of contaminated groundwater, and that Holtect manages the funds from the decommissioning trust fund appropriately.

Riverkeeper holds the “representative of the environmental community” seat on the Indian Point Decommissioning Oversight Board, and provides expertise on issues related to water quality as well as impacts to wildlife and surrounding ecosystems.

View our recorded webinar, held January 9, 2024, to learn more:

Download the Fact Sheet >

138 organizations sign coalition letter to Governor Hochul >

Read our update: Public objects to Holtec’s release of radioactive wastewater from Indian Point into the Hudson River

Get the latest news on Indian Point >

  • How Indian Point harms the Hudson River

  • New York’s bright energy future after Indian Point closes

  • Ensuring the safe closure of Indian Point

  • Just decommissioning

  • The latest news on Indian Point

  • Indian Point FAQ

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