Forced Outages On the Table for Indian Point Water Quality

Hearings on the idea will take place in Cortlandt July 22.

Should Entergy shut down Indian Point for long periods in the summer?

Hudson Valley residents will get a chance July 22 to weigh in on this third possible method to discharge—without harming wildlife—the Hudson River water sucked in to cool the nuclear power plants.

  • What's at stake: The state permit is a separate but essential matter for Indian Point, as Water Quality Certification is one of the key components Entergy needs to get the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to renew its operating license for the nuclear power facility. 
  • If you go: The DEC has scheduled the hearing in two sessions to receive unsworn statements from the public regarding the issue—2 and 7 p.m. July 22, at the Colonial Terrace, 119 Oregon Road, Cortlandt Manor.

"The goal is simple – end Indian Point’s destructive legacy of killing a billion fish a year over the last forty years, by requiring strict measures that will fully protect the Hudson River ecosystem," says Riverkeeper.org, the non-profit advocacy group, calling on residents to come to the hearing.

With permanent forced fish-protection outages, the plants would have to shut down for 42 to 92 days each year between May 10 and Aug. 10—prime fish spawning time.

That would lead to power problems during the months downstate New York uses a lot of energy, according to the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance. AREA also argues that the science isn't solid on forced outages' efficacy for the fish.

Currently, Indian Point uses an open system in which Hudson River water is pumped in through a cooling water intake structure equipped with a traveling water screen system. The cycle ends with heated water returned back into the Hudson. 

The two already-explored alternatives: giant cooling towers on the Hudson River or a complex underwater screening system.

DEC staff and Riverkeeper argue the closed cycle cooling tower system would protect the fish, using much less water by recycling it and adding only to account for evaporation.

However, Indian Point officials say the towers would create new and different pollution problems, as well as adding massive structures along the Hudson shoreline—a visual pollutant many Cortlandt residents don't want.

The state DEC rejected the screening system. 

marilyn elie July 17, 2014 at 08:42 PM
So people exercising their first amendment rights are nuts? Or perhaps just those you don't agree with? As one who holds vigil in the time honored tradition of the Quakers I am proud of any citizen who is bold enough to take a public stand for what they believe in. Maybe you missed those civics lessons in school. It is an important part of the democratic process. In regard to Indian Point: Con Ed delivers all of the electricity that is used in our grid. They have a contract for 500 MW of electricity from Indian Point. That's it. 500 MW. What happens to the other 1,500MW is a good question that Entergy will not answer. Chances are it goes to New England or points west. The Independent Service Operator that manages our NYS grid has said in their annual report The Gold Book that Unit 2 could close down and would never even be missed. We have a lot of big time companies already generating electricity. The market has already replace Indian Point. And with new capacity payments more will generators will enter our market. Damnskanner is starting up again as a gas fired plant. It will produce at least 500 MW. The cable under Manhattan will soon be done and that is another 500 MW. Plus our usage is not going up but holding steady because of demand response and efficiency. In regard to your last question about why this has taken so long - Entergy has delayed and appealed over and over again every step of the way. It has been 11 years to get to this point. Look on the DEC website and you will see the science behind all of the litigation. Which is not done yet. There will be a public DEC meeting at Colonial Terrace on Tuesday, July 22. If you want facts and more information do come. If you want to insult people and show off your ignorance stay home. It is so easy to get your information from the propaganda Entergy puts out in such abundance. How about a little intellectual activity and critical thinking for a change?
George Grimes July 18, 2014 at 11:34 AM
jo July 18, 2014 at 12:43 PM
we all have the right to protest and air opinions... its called freedom of speech regardless of which side of the fence you are own.. and we still can laugh...
Teleman July 20, 2014 at 06:49 PM
Of course everyone is free to express their opinion- but many of the same people who want the plant closed are fighting the WPP project ( which is capable of transporting renewable energy from upstate) and the gas line expansion- In energy production there is no free lunch- each form has its downside- wind turbines killing birds, vast fields of solar panels and the materials to produce them, fossil fuel emissions and nuclear waste.
Sunny Armer July 23, 2014 at 04:42 PM
Will you follow up on this story? I was at the meeting on July 22 and most of the coverage I saw was very biased in favor of Entergy.


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