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Indian Point 2 shuts down; NY’s renewable energy transition 

Photo: Indian Point, Leah Rae / Riverkeeper

Environmental groups with Beyond Indian Point campaign mark the shutdown and highlight how renewable energy and efficiency are replacing Indian Point

One of Indian Point’s reactors is permanently shutting down today, with the second to follow next year. Today’s Indian Point reactor shutdown is an historic moment. Environmental and citizen groups have long fought to shut down Indian Point given the dangers it poses to the public and the lack of solutions for highly radioactive nuclear waste. As Indian Point shuts down, environmental groups – together as part of the recently launched Beyond Indian Point campaign – are emphasizing the fact that renewable energy and energy efficiency that has been built up over the last several years are replacing the energy from Indian Point.  

An independent research brief by Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy found that recent deployment, current development, and projected growth of renewable generation and energy efficiency will contribute nearly 45,000 GWh annually by 2025, almost three times the 16,000 GWh currently supplied by Indian Point. The analysis shows that New York did not and does not need to build new gas plants to keep the lights on or to meet climate goals as Indian Point shuts down.

Richard Webster, Legal Program Director for Riverkeeper said: “Those concerned about New York’s energy future should get behind the state’s transition to renewable energy and energy efficiency. The tangible dangers posed by this aging plant — designed before most Americans were even born — are just too great. In contrast, the opportunity to replace it with job-creating, community-revitalizing renewable energy offers a tailor-made engine for economic recovery.” 

Tim Judson, Executive Director, Nuclear Information and Resource Service said: “The retirement of Indian Point unit 2 is a major milestone in New York’s transition to safe, clean, sustainable energy. For over fifty years, Indian Point has abused the Hudson River and placed the entire New York City region at unacceptable risk, with nearly 20 million people living and working within 50 miles of reactors vulnerable to earthquakes, flooding, attacks, and pipeline explosions. Now it is being replaced with carbon-free, affordable, efficient, renewable energy sources, and driving the transformation of New York’s energy system to one that supports public health, economic and racial equity, and a more stable climate.”

Jessica Azulay, Executive Director of Alliance for a Green Economy, said: “By replacing Indian Point with efficient light bulbs and appliances, weatherization, wind energy, and solar energy, New York is showing the world what is possible. New York is clearly in the process of moving beyond dirty and dangerous nuclear and gas plants and building a more efficient, clean, and life sustaining energy system. This is a historic moment, and an opportunity for each of us to double down on our commitment toward 100% renewable energy in New York.”  

Beyond Indian Point recently released a video marking the historic shutdown of Indian Point, featuring actor and activist Mark Ruffalo, musician and poet Ani DiFranco, and advocates who have been leading the movement. See the video here: https://youtu.be/uS-NPkUMxrc

As Mark Ruffalo says in the Beyond Indian Point video, “New York can lead the way on 100% clean, safe, renewable energy. Let’s get beyond Indian Point!” 

Julia Walsh, Campaign Director of Frack Action, said,  “The shutdown of Indian Point is an historic achievement for New York. Everyone who lives within 50 miles in any direction will be able to rest easier. This is also an incredible moment because New York is replacing this dangerous nuclear power with safe and clean renewable energy and energy efficiency, creating many good jobs throughout the state. New York State is leading the nation and showing what’s possible in the 21st century clean energy future.”

Alex Beauchamp, Northeast Region Director at Food & Water Watch said: “As New York moves beyond Indian Point, we must recognize that the era of dirty energy is finally ending. It’s time for New York to double down on investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy to ensure a carbon-free, nuclear-free future for generations to come.” 

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