The location for tonight’s meeting on Indian Point has been moved from Cortlandt Town Hall to the Morabito Community Center, 29 Westbrook Drive in Cortlandt Manor because of an expectation of a very large turnout.
There were at least 300 people at the meeting last night, maybe more and they all wanted to know about Indian Point. Many were upset at the closing because of jobs and taxes. Most had very little accurate information. I gave out over 100 copies of the information below and wished for more. Plan on arriving early and bring signs if you have something appropriate like Cuomo Did Not Close Indian Point – Entergy Did! Safer With Indian Point Closed!
Please consider printing our some copies of the article below so that you can go armed with facts can and hand it out to others.Make every effort to talk to the press as well. We need to get our story out and now is the time! It is 2 pages and can be printed back to back.
I called Town Hall and this is what I was told. Linda Puglisi will chair the meeting. Other local officials will speak for two minutes about how this will affect their department. After that the meeting will be opened up for questions.
Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition
Electricity, Rates, Taxes, Jobs and Fuel Assemblies
“People who live in the community surrounding a nuclear power plant regard their relationship with the company as a long term marriage. The company regards it as a series of one night stands. As soon as they are not making enough money they are out of there. Arnie Gundersen, nuclear expert and CEO of Fairewinds
There seem to four major issues foremost in the minds of the public and elected officials in regard to the closing of Indian Point. “Replacement” power, electricity rates, taxes, jobs and the highly radioactive waste in the spent fuel pools. – not necessarily in that order. It depends on who you talk to, but these are the issues that are mentioned most in all the articles that have come out. Here is a list of short answers to those concerns.
Energy: Replacement energy is not a problem. We have a surplus of electricity. The New York State Department of State, Bureau of Ocean Management Report, carefully documents that Indian point is not necessary. That is one reason why Entergy was denied a crucial certification. Governor Cuomo initiated a Contingency Plan for replacement power in 2012. It was highly successful and by 2015 had brought 5,245 MW of electricity on line through new generation, improvements in the transmission lines, increased efficiency and “demand response” where large users are paid to curtail usage at peak times and make extra MW available to the grid. Any need for the 2,060 MW’s of electricity from Indian Point has been met and exceeded. We have an energy surplus and according to the Independent System Operator, the agency that runs the grid and demand is decreasing because of conservation, efficiency and roof top solar. Here is the list of what is available right now.
Danskammer (Newburgh) power plant 550 MW
Bowline (Haverstraw) power plant 1,100 MW
Hudson Transmission Project (NJ to NYC) cable 660 MW
PSE&G (NJ to Ramapo) power line 380 MW
Con Ed (Bergen County interconnection) power line 315 MW
TOTS (Westchester & Rockland Counties) power lines 600 MW
NYSERDA (Efficiency Projects) 200 MW
AC Hudson Valley Transmission Upgrades 1,000+ MW
New York Power Authority St. Lawrence Seaway 440 MW
TOTAL 5,245 MW
Rates: When the New York Power Authority stopped purchasing electricity from Indian Point in 2013 there were outlandish predictions about how much electricity rates would rise for NYPA customers such as the subways and municipalities. As it turned out, there was zero rise in rates because NYPA purchased cheaper electricity elsewhere. Since we now have over 300 electricity generators and a 5,245 MW surplus of electricity coupled with the lowest wholesale price of electricity in decades, there is little
reason to think that rates will rise this time either. Riverkeeper has estimated a one to two dollar a month raise at most.
Taxes: Buchanan is the host community for the reactors at Indian Point. They have an agreement called a PILOT or payments in lieu of taxes which accounts for a large portion of their budget. The agreement to close the plant calls for the PILOT to be extended until 2020 at which time it will be renegotiated at steadily decreasing amounts. New York State is committed to helping those communities impacted by the closing through its fossil fuel retirement fund. Buchanan, Montrose, Cortlandt and the County of Westchester have four years to plan for this change. Depending on what is negotiated in the PILOT, property taxes on the Indian Point project may continue to be assessed for years after the last reactor closes in 2021. The agreement for the General Motors plant in Tarrytown is just now running out. Property taxes in the affected communities will eventually rise to something similar to what the rest of Westchester property owners pay unless other retables are brought in. Reusing the property may not be feasible since dry cask storage for fuel assemblies will be in progress and radioactive material is being moved around.
Entergy will remain on site for decades at Indian Point as fuel rod assemblies are moved into dry cask storage. They will be subject to property tax like the rest of businesses in our area, depending on what is negotiated in the PILOT. In addition, the company has 60 years to complete the decommissioning process, should they remain in business that long. In another bit of irony, Entergy will have to purchase electricity after 2021 since it will no longer be produced on site.
Jobs: Approximately 1,000 people are employed at Unit 2 and Unit 3; 345 of these employees are union members. Entergy has agreed to move workers from Indian Point into their other power plants as possible. Workers will be eligible for placement in other New York State power plants. NYSERDA will offer retraining in green energy occupations. Linda Puglisi, Cortlandt Supervisor, is repeating a call she made six years age for a Blue Ribbon Committee to look into the jobs issue and the tax concerns so that this can be an orderly transition. The time frame for preparing mitigating measures prior to closure is four years when Unit 3 shuts down in 2020. That is a lot of planning time. Companies down size or close all the time: Macys and Sears are two recent examples. Seldom are communities afforded this much time and help to mitigate the effect on either their budget or on people.
Fuel Rods or Fuel Assemblies: What to do with high level radioactive waste must be discussed now. It is the position of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition that fuel assemblies should be maintained above ground on site. It is undemocratic and immoral to force this waste on communities that do not want it. We allowed the creation of it and are now morally responsible for it. There is no national policy and no national depository. There is no solution to the problem of radioactive waste. We must stop creating it, contain what we have, monitor it and isolate it from the environment to protect people and the environment. Robust Hardened Onsite Storage and Rolling Stewardship are two ways to do this.