The two active nuclear power plants at Indian Point in Buchanan operated safely in 2017, according to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
At a public hearing June 21 in Tarrytown attended by approximately 75 people, NRC officials unveiled the findings of their annual assessment of units 2 and 3, which are scheduled to stop producing energy in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
Brian Haagensen, a senior resident inspector, said during more than 8,400 hours of inspection or related activities throughout 2017 revealed findings of “very low safety significance.” The inspection included how Entergy, owner of the plants, handled adverse weather preparation, security, maintenance, “force on force,” and spent fuel storage.
“We are pleased that following more than 8,000 hours of review and inspection last year, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission judged Indian Point to be a safely operated plant. Indian Point’s nearly 1,000 employees are focused on continued safe and reliable operation of the facility through its planned closure of Unit 2 in 2020 and Unit 3 in 2021,” stated Jerry Nappi, a spokesman for Entergy.
During the hearing, Indian Point received praise from several business leaders, including Deb Milone, director of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce, and organizations, such as the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (New York AREA).
“Indian Point is one of the safest facilities in the country,” Milone said. “Our economy will take a hard hit without Indian Point.”
“Indian Point is a safe, well-run facility. That is what is most clear from the NRC’s rigorous annual assessment of Indian Point,” said Arthur “Jerry” Kremer, chairman of AREA. “The plant continues to operate to the highest safety standards, as it has year-in and year-out. Indian Point will have an important role to play through 2021, supplying large amounts of clean power and being an engine for the region’s economy.”
However, others raised issues about the plants remaining safe, particularly during the lengthy decommissioning process in the future.
“I hope you guys are on the job the next four years,” Michel Lee remarked to NRC officials.