News Center > Experts Testify Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Will Use State-of-the-Art Science, Legally Enforceable Commitments Over Next 20 Years to Assure Safety
Experts Testify Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Will Use State-of-the-Art Science, Legally Enforceable Commitments Over Next 20 Years to Assure Safety
Hearings That Ended This Week Are Most Recent Phase of Comprehensive Review
TARRYTOWN, NY -- The Indian Point nuclear power plant has made legally enforceable commitments based on state-of-the-art science to ensure that its safe operation will be closely monitored throughout the 20-year period of renewed licenses, experts testified at hearings that ended Thursday. A three-judge panel of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, meeting in Tarrytown, NY, heard testimony this week by technical experts from Westinghouse, Structural Integrity Associates, and Entergy.
"Indian Point has operated safely for more than 40 years, delivering enormous benefits such as reliable, price-stable and non-greenhouse gas-emitting power generation, day-in and day-out," said Fred Dacimo, vice president of operations license renewal for Entergy. "The fact that Nuclear Regulatory Commission Staff has spent 37,000 hours over eight years reviewing and inspecting Indian Point's application should be reassuring to everyone that all aspects of the license renewal process have been thoroughly examined, and that the facility will continue to operate at the highest levels of safety and reliability."
Hearings by the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board are one component of the comprehensive license renewal process. Indian Point, located in Buchanan, NY, has cleared most of the major milestones leading to renewed licenses, including:
- Safety Evaluation Report -- NRC Staff issued a report concluding there is nothing to preclude Indian Point from safely operating through the 20-year license renewal period.
- Final Environmental Impact Statement -- NRC Staff issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement concluding there are no environmental issues precluding license renewal.
- Timely Renewal, Unit 2 -- In September 2013, Indian Point Unit 2 began operating under Timely Renewal, which extends the initial 40-year license while the license renewal process continues. After exhaustive reviews, the NRC Staff determined that all safety commitments at Unit 2 had been appropriately implemented. Indian Point Unit 3 will enter its Timely Renewal period on December 13 at the end of its initial 40-year license period.
- Previous Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruling -- In November 2013, the ASLB panel ruled in Entergy's favor on eight of nine Track 1 contentions. Entergy demonstrated it has comprehensive plans to manage the effects of 20 years of continued operation on equipment including electrical cables and underground piping.
In addition, Entergy is engaged in administrative and other proceedings with the State of New York related to license renewal.
It is expected that the license renewal process will take several more years before a final determination is made by the full Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The NRC's ongoing reactor oversight process, outside of the license renewal process, is robust and designed to assure ongoing safe operations. The license renewal process reviews plant structures and components and the effects of time and extended operation on them. In addition, daily operational performance, security, seismic and flooding reviews, and emergency planning and preparedness are all part of the NRC's ongoing regulatory review of Indian Point. Every year the NRC issues quarterly reports and an annual report, which are augmented by periodic special inspections in areas like fire protection, security, radiation protection, training, and operator performance and licensing evaluations. Indian Point has achieved the highest safety ratings from the NRC for five consecutive years.
Indian Point's Unit 2 and Unit 3, which opened in 1974 and 1976, respectively, generate more than 2000 megawatts of nearly carbon-free electricity, enough to power 2 million homes. Indian Point supplies about 25 percent of New York City's and Westchester County's electricity, and 11 percent of New York State's power.
The plant employs about 1,000 people, has an annual cumulative payroll of about $140 million, and makes more than $28 million in payments to local and state governments each year.
According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, the plant's total direct and indirect economic impact is $1.6 billion annually. In addition to the plant's direct employment, it supports 9700 jobs in other industries and generates about $340 million in taxes every year. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation's leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $12 billion and approximately 13,000 employees.
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