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Debunking the Indian Point Energy Myth

Energy and Indian Point graphic

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(Downloadable Energy Fact Sheet)
Misleading Entergy propaganda continually touts that the alleged “clean” and “cheap” energy generated by Indian Point is “vital” to the region.

The truth is, we do NOT need Indian Point’s electricity! Here are the real facts:

  • If Indian Point Shuts Down For Good Tomorrow, the Lights Will Stay On: Contrary to what Indian Point is telling you, the plant only makes up about 12.5% of the available power capacity for the downstate New York region. In fact, New York City is required by law to produce 80% of its power within the 5 boroughs. Also, New York State requires a 15-20% reserve “cushion” of available electricity, so the reality is that in the short-term, there would be no power disruption to the region if Indian Point closed. For example, in 2000, Indian Point Unit 2 was shut down for nearly 1 year following a steam generator tube rupture, and in 2003, during a hot summer stretch, Units 2 and 3 simultaneously went down unexpectedly, and throughout both events, there was no noticeable impact to the power grid.
  • Conservation Alone Can Replace Indian Point: Aggressive conservation measures can reduce energy consumption by 10-14% within one year. When Californians were faced with an electricity crisis in 2000/2001, immediate conservation efforts eliminated 10% of peak hour electricity usage on hot summer days, and 14% during the month when the power network was most strained, averting a single brownout or blackout. A 2002 report indicates that this model can be replicated in the NYC region if necessary. (see below for tips on what you can do right now to start conserving energy!)
  • There Are Other Alternatives: In 2006, the National Academy of Sciences concluded that there are “no insurmountable technical barriers to the replacement of Indian Point.” A sustainable energy future without this nuclear plant is possible. Riverkeeper continues to call upon Governor Cuomo to immediately develop and implement a State energy plan that does not include Indian Point.

    In fact, a wide portfolio of measures is available to meet the short, medium, and long term energy needs of the downstate New York region in the absence of Indian Point:

    – Implementing energy efficiency and conservation measures
    – Promoting clean on-site distributed generation
    – Promoting greater incentives for renewable energy projects
    – Re-powering fossil-fueled generating facilities
    – Relying on capacity from new generation coming on line in the next few years (for example, the 700 MW cross-Hudson cable project)
    – Building a combined cycle natural gas facility at the Indian Point site
    – Importing power from existing sources in neighboring power grids
    – Improving grid transmission by retrofitting existing lines, and installing new lines

  • Indian Point’s electricity is not “clean”: The owner of Indian Point, Entergy, constantly boasts that nuclear is a clean energy source. This is misleading, since the life cycle of generating nuclear power, from uranium mining and refining to transportation and storage requires an enormous amount of energy and undoubtedly produces greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. Further, nuclear plants produce highly toxic and radioactive nuclear waste that lingers at reactor sites for decades; at Indian Point, this waste is already contaminating the environment. Also, at an aging, unsafe plant such as Indian Point, the risk of a nuclear accident is palpable, and this would result in untold radiological impacts to the millions of people living within 50 miles of the plant. Clearly, Indian Point is neither clean nor green.
  • Electric Bills Would Not Skyrocket: Entergy estimates a modest increase of only 5-8% in annual retail energy bills if the plant closed. This would amount to about $65 a year, and doesn’t even take into account the moderating effect on prices of energy conservation, which could eliminate any impacts on energy bills

Indian Point is not necessary, and not worth the risk. We Can Replace the Power, We Can’t Replace the Lives.

  • What You Can Do to Conserve Energy

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