Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen seems to be following in the footsteps of his predecessor and shifting his attention from his own state to focus on New York. Last week, Jepsen came out swinging against one of our state’s largest power generators – Indian Point. The attorney general took the opportunity to capitalize on the attention Indian Point has received since a federal appeals court ruled that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission must review the public health, safety, and environmental hazards of storing used fuel on site at the country’s 104 nuclear power plants. Jepsen issued a statement voicing his opposition to the NRC’s renewal of Indian Point’s operating license “until a thorough and complete investigation is made of environmental impacts from
continuing their operation for 20 years."
The simple truth is that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Indian Point take their safety obligation very seriously. The NRC conducts detailed, rigorous annual safety inspections at Indian Point and has given the plant its highest safety rating for eight straight years. All inspections include detailed study of the health and safety effects of storing used fuel on site. As a matter of fact, much of the used material at Indian Point is now stored in dry cask storage canisters, the state-of-the art solution.
The bottom line is Indian Point is unequivocally safe and provides essential power to the New York City metropolitan region. Studies from the New York Independent System Operator and Charles Rivers Associates have concluded that closing Indian Point would lead to higher electricity rates, increased air pollution, and reduced electric reliability along New York’s grid. These studies have found that New York does not have the generation or transmission infrastructure to replace the 2000 megawatts of power that Indian Point supplies each day, nor is there any feasible way to have that power online in the next several years.
Indian Point has exceeded every compliance requirement and remains a source of clean energy, green jobs, improved air quality, and a vital economic driver for the region. Let’s build upon these invaluable benefits and not allow political fiction to determine our energy future.