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The Renewal of the Indian Power Plant: Legal Issues

Introduction

For slightly over forty years now, the Entergy operated Indian Point nuclear reactor has been accused of damaging the ecological resources of the Hudson River estuary. The plant is the largest consumer of water resources in the state. For instance, the reactors at units 2 and 3 consume up to 2.5 billion gallons of water on a daily basis. The water is drawn from the Hudson River.1 The people and agencies advocating for the closure of the plant advance the argument that the establishment has negative impacts on the environment. It affects billions of fish, fingerlings, eggs, larvae, as well as associated organism. The damages occur through the plant’s water intake pipes. The activists claim that the most affected animals are the short-nosed sturgeon. The fish uses the Hudson River ecological segment as its birthing area.

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In this paper, the author will seek to identify and analyze the legal elements of the problems associated with the closure of the plant. The legal issues will be reviewed from the perspective of the plant’s owners, Entergy, and the community that depends on the power plant.

Arguments against the Existence and Renewal of the Plant

It is noted that New York is served by four other commercial nuclear facilities. The facilities are viewed as important generators of electric energy. Three of the facilities have consistently been found to comply with the coastal environmental policies. The designated department has pointed out that due to its position and locality, the Indian Point plant is a disaster waiting to happen. The plant is located on an ecologically important neighborhood. The neighborhood has over 17 million residents. The people live approximately 50 miles from the plant.2 The argument is supported by the fact that no other plant is located that close to the surrounding population. In addition, the plant sits close to the intersection of active seismic features. According to the NRC, the establishment is located on the highest category associated with seismic activities. The conclusion was made through the assessment of risks relative to the initial plant seismic design and the ground motion assessment. The NRC evaluation has established that the nuclear station, known as Indian Point Unit Three, seems to have the highest likelihood of serious damages to the core should the county experience a major earthquake event. Should such an incidence take place, it is argued, millions of Americans would be exposed to harmful radiation from the establishment.

The anti-Indian Point reactor activists have advanced the reports that spent fuel pools from the unit 2 plant have found access to the Hudson River. The reactor and the pools are located six miles to the west of the New Croton water reservoir. The reservoir is situated to the Westchester County. The reservoir is part of the greater New York City water system, which distributes water to the city’s residents. The consequences of any leaks of radiation entail the contamination of the water supply to the Croton Reservoir. Such an eventuality would affect millions of people using the water supply. The replacement of the radionuclide-contaminated water sources would involve the use of a substantial amount of money. In addition, such an incident would affect the infrastructure and the market value of the housing developments, as well as the economic activities of the New York City and adjacent municipalities.

The opponents of the nuclear facility at the Indian Point further argue that the possible re-licensing of the establishment without substantial modifications would continue to be an environmental hazard that would increase people’s risk of exposure to possible harm. Consequently, the activists recommend the denial of the certification for another twenty years of the operations of the establishment. In the event that the Indian Point nuclear power generating plant is shutdown or decommissioned, the economic ramification would be felt far and wide. For example, the investors and the local communities that depend on the existence of the plant for their economic livelihood would be affected.

Entergy License Renewal

In 2009, Entergy Nuclear Northeast (Entergy) applied for a federal clear water and quality water certification. The certification was part of the renewal of Entergy operating license and an extension for a further 20 year operating license. The extension was for both unit 2 and unit 3, which are located at the Indian Point plant.3 Pursuant to the applications, the state is expected to make a decision regarding whether or not to issue a certification that verifies an operation that gives discharge to navigable water. The authorities have to determine whether or not the water meets the quality standards as set by the law. It should also be established whether such an entity can qualify for the issuance of the permit to operate or not.

Entergy also sought a 20 year extension certificate for the continued operation of both units at the Indian Point facilities. The company observed that the operation of the nuclear plant involves drawing water from the Hudson River and discharging waste into the same river. The river is classified as navigable surface water under the control of the state. The applications have implications on the environment and the safety of the surrounding communities.4 For the license to be issued, Entergy is required by the state to comply with the environmental and safety regulations as provided for in the necessary statutes. In spite of this, the licensing federal agency, ERC, does not have problems with re-issuing of the license. The problem is with nuclear activist bodies and the state of New York.

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According to the ERC and the federal government, the state is charged with the responsibility of upholding good environmental practices and the maintenance of the safety of the community. The state, however, should not encroach on matters that pertain to the federal government.5 Consequently, ERC should issue Entergy with the necessary certification and grant the operation extension request for another 20 years. The opposing positions have led to several lawsuits in the Supreme Court.6

Nuclear Energy: A Historical Background

The application of nuclear fusion as a source of energy in the US has increased over the years. The rate of use and output has risen significantly from the first nuclear plant that was commissioned in the 1940s. In 1946, the US Congress established the Atomic Energy Commission. The commission was set up through the 1946 Atomic Energy Act.7 The AEC authorized the commencement of the construction of the Experimental Breeder Reactor 1. The reactor was the first nuclear power plant in the country. The initial establishment delivered electrical energy produced by nuclear technology in late 1951. The production was from the Idaho plant. The first nuclear installations used normal water for the cooling of the reactor cores during the activation of the chain reaction. In 1954, the Atomic Energy Act allowed civilian access to nuclear technology. It also authorized the commercialization of the technology. In 1955, the Idaho experimental BORAX 111 started powering a small town.8 The first commercially operated nuclear generating power installation was based at a shipping port in Pennsylvania. It achieved full functionality in 1957. The success of the shipping port plant opened the doors for more private nuclear installations. The first privately funded nuclear station was the Sodium Reactor Experiment. It was based at Santa Susana. The plant started generating electricity in 1957.9

By the 1960s, nuclear power had been established as a conventional source of electrical power in the US. Consequently, the Private Ownership of Special Nuclear Materials Act was enacted in 1964.10 The Act allowed the private plant operators to own the nuclear materials, which they used as fuel to power the installations. Previously, the materials were exclusively under the control of the government. The 1960s saw the rapid growth of nuclear power plants. By 1971, there were 22 operational nuclear plants. The installations accounted for slightly more than two percent of the country’s electrical energy.11 It is reported that in 1973, the nuclear industry had 41 orders for the establishment of nuclear plants in the US. It was a tremendous growth in the nuclear industry. By 1979, the country had 72 licensed reactors. The reactors accounted for 12 percent of the country’s commercial electricity.

The first and worst nuclear incident occurred in 1979. It took place at the Three Mile Island, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.12 The incidence was brought about by the melting down of one of the core reactors as a result of lack of coolant. It was blamed on human and mechanical error. The incidence did not lead to any casualties or significant health risks. Nevertheless, it aroused concerns from the public regarding the safety of nuclear power plants. It also led to the formulation of tighter security regulations and strict inspection procedures. Due to the increased number of nuclear plants, there were increasing concerns over the environmental impacts and other related issues that involved safety and the disposal of nuclear waste.

The environmental concerns led to the enactment of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA).13 The act created a program that was to be financed through the fees paid by the owners of radioactive waste materials. It was aimed at finding a site where the waste material could be permanently riposted. However, the program has not yielded any results with regards to the finding of a repository of the highly radioactive materials. The radioactive waste is stored on-site at each power plant location. It is mostly stored in cold-water pools.

The Safety Risks Posed by the Indian Point Plant

Out of the various nuclear reactors in the US, the Indian Point two reactors are viewed by industry pundits as some of those that carry the highest risks. The plant is surrounded by a large population, which is likely to be exposed to radiation should a major accident occur. The reactors sit on a seismically active ground. The plant’s operating licenses have expired and the operators are seeking re-licensing. They are seeking for renewal of licenses after the expiry of the plant’s engineered 40 year lifespan.14

Opponents of the re-licensing argue that an accident occurring at the Indian Point power plant unit 3 may be comparable to the one that occurred at Fukushima power plant. It could necessitate the evacuation and sheltering of more than 5.6 million individuals. The large scale evacuation would be as a result of the fallout plume that would be blown south towards New York City.15 The communities along the path of the plume would be expected to be exposed to whole body radiation. Such an accident would require the administration of stabilizing iodine to the whole population. The population would be at risk of receiving radiation greater than 10rad.16

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It is also estimated that an accident occurring at unit 3 involving a core meltdown near the scale experienced at Chernobyl would put the people at the risk of being exposed to more than 25rem. The increase of the risk of pre-mature death is estimated at 7 percent. An accident occurring at the Indian Point plant would make the land extending to Manhattan inhabitable due to contamination.17

Seismic Risks

In a study conducted by seismologists based at Columbia University Earth Observatory, it was reported that 383 earthquakes have occurred in the New York area.18 The scientists registered concrete evidence of active seismic zones that were previously unknown. The seismic zone runs from Stamford through Connecticut to Peekskill and New York. The zone passes less than a mile to the north of Indian Point. The zone is close to other seismic structures. Its location increases the possibility of an earth tremor of a magnitude of more than 6 on the Richter scale. The researchers also observed that Indian Point, viewed from a risk and hazard perspective, is an unfavorable site. The study illustrates that improved data models have offered greater insight into the risks involved. The NRC does not have such data. As a result, it does not incorporate the concerns of a reactor meltdown resulting from an earthquake. In spite of this, in the wake of the Fukushima accident, it is imperative that seismic assessment be incorporated into the evaluation of nuclear plants.

The Statutes and Regulations

The Atomic Energy Act (AEA) authorizes the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to license the organizations that operate nuclear power installations for a period of 40 years. The act also provides that the operating license could be renewed. Besides the licensing, the legislation grants NRC the authority to oversee the nuclear powers’ installation, waste, and safety management. The AEA also delegates authority to the NRC to determine the appropriate rules and regulations associated with the renewal of the licenses. The requirements are made clear in the set of regulations found in 10 C.F.R. Part 51 & 54.19 The process that NRC uses in the renewal of an operating license includes the review of the environmental and safety measures undertaken by the management of the nuclear plant. Once a renewal operating license has been issued, it supersedes or invalidates the original accreditation.

In addition, the CZMA authorizes any coastal state to review the federal agency actions that may affect the water, land, and natural resources located along the coastal line. The reviews are designed to be consistent with the applicable policies as provided for in the Coastal Management Program.20 The New York State CMP identifies and documents lists of licenses, the certification of the sites, construction, and management of the nuclear power installations. The installations are certified with regards to the consistency regulations. The provisions of CZMA also demand that any license renewals that have not been previously reviewed are subject to the consistency assessment. According to the CZMA regulatory framework, the coastal agency may agree or object to the certification of a project.21 The final word, nevertheless, rests with the Secretary of Commerce. The secretary can overrule or sustain the determination upon appeal.

The Supreme Court and Nuclear Power

Private nuclear power generation has attracted controversy since its inception in 1954 when the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) was enacted. The legislation replaced the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).22 The commission had federal monopoly on the possession, ownership, and the use of radioactive materials in the country. From the time the act was enacted, the Supreme Court has regularly granted certiorari over issues that pertain to nuclear power and associated activities. In most cases, the Supreme Court supports nuclear activities for three main reasons.23 To begin with, it supports the Congress pro-nuclear mandate. In addition, it expresses the desire not to be seen as impeding on technological development. Finally, the judicial system has a highly differential perception of the mystique born out of the atomic bomb secrecy. Exceptions are made, however, on federal preemptions. The preemptions are tied to the changes in the Court’s composition and the ascendancy of states’ rights in the thinking of the majority people in the society.

It is a fact that the legal controversies associated with nuclear power are linked to a number of issues. However, some cases and concerns are beyond atomic matters. They extend to general applicable constitutional and administrative principles. It can also be observed that although the Congress dissociated itself from the promotion of nuclear energy in 1974, the Supreme Court has continued to depend on precedents to advance and promote this source of power.24 The only exception that the court makes is when the rights of the state are involved. The decisions of the Supreme Court are often grouped under several categories. The classifications include environmental, safety, Environmental Policy Act, and federal preemption issues. The court’s decisions are often influenced by the desire to dispel the perception that it is interfering with the intentions of the Congress as embedded in the AEA. The basic intent is to encourage the development of nuclear energy through private ventures. The court also recognizes the rights of the state.

As demonstrated by the Indian Point plant’s re-licensing issues, tension persists in the control and regulation of nuclear energy. The tension is especially between the federal and state sovereignties. At one level, federal preemption is necessary to overcome concerns regarding environmental impacts and costs related to nuclear energy.25 The states, on the other hand, are concerned with the protection of the communities from the environmental impacts and associated costs. The concerns are expected to increase as the nuclear plants age and the spent fuel continue to be stored within the establishments.26 The risks of the aged plants and the stored fuel are often associated with leakages and contamination of water resources. The management of the Indian Point nuclear plant has been accused severally by anti-nuclear energy activists of contaminating the Hudson River.

The Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant

The Indian Point nuclear power generating plant is located at the shore of the Hudson River, Westchester County. The plant has two active nuclear reactors, unit 2 and unit 3. The two are operated by Entergy Corporation. It is noted that the total generating capacity of the two reactors is estimated to be over 2,000 megawatts. Unit 2 commenced operation in 1974 and its operating license expired in 2013.27 Unit 3 was commissioned in 1976 and its operating license expired in 2015. The expiration of the two units’ 40 year operating licenses is viewed as coinciding with the end of what is referred to as their useful life. The end of the useful life does not necessarily mean that they should be shut down. They still have the capability to produce electrical power for another twenty years.28 As a result, in an effort to continue the operation after the expiry of the licenses, Entergy began the renewal process in 2006. The organization sought a renewal for another 20 years. The relicensing process is still ongoing. It is to be noted that the NRC has always renewed the licenses of nuclear facilities operating in the country. In the meantime, the plants continue to operate until the renewal requests are determined.

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Safety Concerns

There are several parties opposed to the renewal of the Indian Point nuclear plant’s operating license. They include, among others, Governor Cuomo and a variety of consumer and environmental advocacy groups. The major reasons for the opposition are largely classified in to two categories. There are those who oppose the re-licensing because of safety reasons, while others consider the environment as being endangered by the continued operation of the power plant.29 A case in point is The Metropolitan Edison Corp People v. Nuclear Energy lawsuit.30 The background to the case was that Metropolitan Edison operated two licensed nuclear plants. One plant was closed for refueling, while the other had an accident. The accident damaged the reactor, leading to serious concerns among key stakeholders. The NRC ordered the company not to restart the plant until it was determined that it was safe to operate it. The agency invited interested parties to submit written briefs regarding the harm. The harm included psychological and other indirect effects related to the renewed operation of the reactor.31 The resident association, The People against Nuclear Energy, responded. The association argued that the re-opening of the plant would cause psychological damage. It would also affect the cohesiveness, stability, and well-being of the surrounding community. The NRC did not take into account the evidence relating to the claims, forcing PANE to petition the Court of Appeals for a review. PANE argued that the National Environmental Policy Act required NRC to listen to the contentions and address them. The Court of Appeal held that NRC does not need to take into consideration the contentions of the residents. The court observed that NEPA does not require NRC to evaluate the risk.32 It was also determined that the term ‘environmental impact’ was only used to refer to any changes in the physical environment. The court argued that the risk of psychological effect does not have a close causal effect with the re-starting of the plant. The same argument applies to the proposed shutdown of Indian Point plant, which has been accused of posing a risk to both the environment and the health of the communities living near it.

The safety concerns relate to the evacuation challenges, as well as the risk from terrorist attacks. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has observed that there are in excess of 20 million inhabitants living in the communities surrounding the Indian Point, which include New York city. According to the DEC, any radiation from the plant could be a profound event and an unmitigated disaster. In addition, the department demands that before the re-licensing is approved, Entergy should provide a plan on how it would protect the communities in the event that an accident happens at the Indian Point power plant.33

The environmental concerns regarding the re-licensing are supported by the observation that the radio-nuclides, such as the strontium-90 and tritium, are leaking and have contaminated the waters of the Hudson River. The operation of the Indian Point consumes in excess of 2.5 billion gallons of water drawn from the Hudson River on a daily basis. The process of drawing the water affects the fish population. The animals are also affected by the heated water from the plant. The heat shock has a negative impact on the fish population.

The environmental issues could be used as leverage by the New York City. The reason is that the re-licensing demands for the presentation of a water quality certificate as provided for in the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401.34 As such, should the state deny the Indian Point the WQC certificate, the action would derail the Entergy’s chances of getting a re-license. In Minnesota v. NRC, the court directed the NRC to consider establishing the existence of reasonable assurance of the off-site storage solution by the end of the expiration of the licenses.35 If such a facility was not available, the Commission was directed to establish whether or not the spent fuel could be safely stored on-site beyond the expiry of the operating licenses.36 It is clear that the Supreme Court holds the NRC responsible for the safe storage of the spent fuel rods. In the event that the spent fuel leaks to the water, the NRC should take responsibility. It is evident that the waste fuel is stored on-site since the repository has never been established. Consequently, the issuance of the license by NRC is inevitable in spite of the opposition from the opponents of the re-licensing of the Indian Point Power Plant.

In Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation v. Natural Resources Defense Council, the Federal Court stopped the forced shutdown of the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor at the expiry of its license.37 The court argued that the state was attempting to regulate nuclear safety. According to the ruling, nuclear safety was the province of the federal government through the NRC. The court also held that the state cannot force the plant to sell its electricity to in-state utilities at lower rates as one of the conditions of being allowed to continue operating.38 The state has demanded that Entergy should provide electricity to the state at reduced rates if it was to be allowed to operate.

According to the ruling passed by the Supreme Court in Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, the NRC is expected to ensure that during the licensing process of a nuclear plant, due process is followed. The aim is to ensure that the permanent storage of the waste from nuclear power production should be assumed as having no negative impacts on the environmental impact.39 It is a major requirement under the National Environmental Policy Act for the federal agencies dealing with the licensing of nuclear plants to take into consideration the environmental impacts of their actions. With regards to the licensing of commercial nuclear power plants, the NRC is required to ensure that the environmental impacts, which include the nuclear power production and the safe disposal of the exhausted fuel, are well evaluated. The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. case affirms the court’s findings in Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. v. Natural Resources Defense Council.40

The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation v. Natural Resources Defense Council case demonstrates that shutting down the Indian Point, as Mayor Cuomo insists, can prompt the firm to challenge such an action and get a court relief.41 Both Vermont Yankee and Indian Point are owned by Entergy. Nuclear energy observers opine that it is rare for states to make the decision to shut down a commercial reactor. Although many states have held referendums to force the shutdown of nuclear plants, none has succeeded. A case is cited where a nuclear facility was closed through a referendum vote. The plant was Rancho Seco, which was located at Sacramento, California. It turned out that the voters were the owners of the plant.42

Environmental Scorecard

According to Entergy, the Indian Point power plant produces affordable and clean power. The energy generated is enough to cater for up to 38 percent of the electrical power needs for both New York and the Hudson Valley. The production of nuclear power is not associated with the emission of greenhouse gases and associated pollutants that lead to global warming. It is the contention of Entergy that any possible replacement for Indian Point nuclear power can only come from fossil fuel. Fossil fuel is a major pollutant to the environment.43

The Economic Impacts of the Indian Point Nuclear Energy Plant

One of the best ways to examine the value of the Indian Point power plant is to evaluate what happens when such installations are decommissioned. A look at the Kewaunee installation in Wisconsin, which closed down in 2013, can provide an insight into the issues associated with the possible decommissioning of Indian Point Plant. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute’s 2015 report, Kewaunee County lost approximately 15 percent of its employment and 30 percent in revenue collection. The county also lost 556 megawatts of affordable and reliable electricity. When the San Onofre nuclear plant in California was shut down, 1,500 jobs were lost.44

The decommissioning of the Onofre plant made the cost of electricity to escalate. The state already had the highest cost of electricity in the US. The closure of the plant is estimated to have raised the cost by 13 percent. It also led to the rise in the costs associated with the emission of carbon by about $320 million.45 The state will replace the Onofre electricity by using natural gas powered plants and renewable resources. The state can also import the commodity from other states. The bottom line is that the consumers will have to pay more to replace the power that Onofre used to provide. The Indian Point generates recognizable economic benefits to the New York and the neighboring counties.

A Comprehensive Economic Loss from the Indian Point Shutdown

When a facility that has been productive is shutdown, the economic loss leads to a spiral-effect. The effect is felt at the local, state, as well as at the national level for many years. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, the estimated loss of Indian Point output to the neighboring counties is estimated to be $2 billion. New York would incur losses to the tune of $0.4 billion. On its part, the US would lose $1.6 billion.46 The economic losses are expected to increase every year until they peak on the sixth year when the lost output caps at $5 billion. During the same period, the economies of the local counties, the city of New York, as well as the US, would shrink. The negative effects would cascade down to all the economic sectors.47

At the national level, the shutdown impacts negatively on the utilities, construction, and manufacturing sectors. It also affects the production of specialized services, especially in the professional, technical, and scientific sectors.48 In New York, the state and local governments would be affected by the shutdown through the loss of tax revenues. Most significant is the loss of jobs at both the local and state government levels.

Indian Point and Entergy in the Community

Indian Point and the mother company, Entergy, maintain a significant presence among the local community that surrounds the facility. Entergy is a major philanthropic partner. The entity awards the charitable organizations in the locality more than $1 million through the Entergy Foundation49. The foundation’s programs support local initiatives to sustain thriving communities around the installation. The initiatives include educational, environmental, and other organizations. In addition, the over 1,000 employees take part in community work among the communities where they live.50 They volunteer thousands of hours every year working with the organizations that operate towards a better community. The communities stand to lose all these support initiatives that play a significant role in the economic livelihoods of the people in the counties surrounding the nuclear installation.

Educational Endeavors

Should the Indian Point plant be closed down, the community stands to lose the educational support given by the company. Entergy supports the local community’s educational efforts. The support is especially extended to the Westchester and Lower Hudson Valley areas.51 The company donates thousands of dollars and employees’ hours to the local schools, school districts, after-school programs, as well as co-curricular activities. Some specific support is given to science-based programs, such as STEM.

Environmental Support

Entergy’s commitment to the environment through the reduction of carbon emissions is demonstrated by its inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. It was awarded for environmental excellence and sustainable development, which includes environmental advocacy.52 The company has been named on the Index for thirteen consecutive years. As a demonstration of its commitment to the protection of the local environment, including the Hudson River, the company has spent over $100 million on the development and adoption of technologies that are aimed at protecting the fish populations in the ecosystem. For instance, the plant operates a multimillion-dollar hatchery based at the nuclear site. The program added 600,000 fingerlings to the Hudson River over a period of ten years.53 The local fund that supports research on the aquatic life of the Hudson River has received over $50 million over a period of thirty years. The project stands to lose that support should the plant close down. Such an occurrence would spell the end of the project. It is noted that the project is independent and reports to the state’s Department of Conservation.

Finally, nuclear power generation is hailed as the most effective carbon emission control strategy through the production of emission free power.54 Environmental experts estimate that the Indian Point power plant prevents the release of approximately 8.5 million metric tons of harmful carbon dioxide every year. The figure is comparable to the amount released by the more than 1.6 million cars annually.

Effects of the Indian Point’s Shutdown on Investors

The closure of the Indian Point would have far reaching impacts on the economy of New York. The regulatory uncertainties, like those likely to be generated by the prospect of the shutdown of the plant, are harmful to the investment climate. The result is that the investment outcomes become unpredictable.55 The shutdown is likely to affect the many stockholders who rely on the proceeds from their shareholding for sustenance. Although the company can sue for the allocation of the license, the ordinary shareholders do not have any remedy or recourse.

Conclusion

Analysts hold the opinion that the two reactors at Indian Point are highly risky to the environment and the surrounding communities. The plant is surrounded by a large population, which is likely to be exposed to radiation should a major accident occur. In addition, the reactors sit on a seismically active region. The plant’s operating licenses have expired. The owners of the facility have applied for re-licensing to continue operating. However, there are some people opposed to the re-certification. Most of the opponents cite environmental and safety concerns. It is apparent that the concerns of these stakeholders are valid. However, the economic impacts associated with the closure of the plant should also be factored in. The National Environmental Policy Act requires the NRC, which is the federal agency dealing with the licensing of nuclear plants, to take into consideration the environmental impacts of the nuclear power plants operating in the country. With regards to the licensing of commercial nuclear power plants, the NRC is required to evaluate the environmental impacts of the operations of such establishments. The Indian Power Point is accused of releasing toxic waste into the Hudson River. The contamination of the water resources poses a health hazard to many people living on the downstream of the river. As a result, the concerns of the environmental lobby groups and Mayor Cuomo are valid. However, it is clear that many members of the communities around the area depend on the plant for their livelihoods. The plant also supports the communities through a number of programs. It funds educational and environmental projects. At the end of the day, Entergy, which owns the Indian Point Power Plant, has a moral duty to protect the community and the environment.

Case Laws

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2011-2297 (1954).

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 462 U.S. 87 (1983).

Metropolitan Edison v. People v. Nuclear Energy, No. 81-2399 (1983).

Minnesota v. NRC, 602F.2d 412(D.C.Cir. 1979).

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 435 U.S. 519 (1978).

References

Charlotte A. Biblow, Considering Nuclear Power as Indian Point Faces License Renewal, 248.100 NY LJ. 1,7 (2012).

David Schlissel, Paul Peterson and Bruce Biewald, Financial Insecurity: The Increasing Use of Limited Liability Companies and Multi-Tiered Holding Companies to Own Nuclear Power Plants, RiverKeeper. n.d. Web.

Entergy, Entergy Corporation and Subsidiaries 2013 Annual Report, Entergy. Web.

International Atomic Energy Agency, Managing the Socioeconomic Impact of the Decommissioning Of Nuclear Facilities. IAEA. n.d. Web.

Matthew L. Waldjan, A Judge Rules Vermont Can’t Shut Nuclear Plant, N.Y.Times. n.d. Web.

Matthew McKinzie and Christopher Paine, Nuclear Accident at Indian Point: Consequences and Costs, NRDC. n.d. Web.

Matthew McKinzie and Christopher Paine, Nuclear Accident at Indian Point: Consequences and Costs, NRDC. n.d. Web.

Nuclear Energy Institute, Economic Impacts of the Indian Point Energy Center, NEI. n.d. Web.

Sheldon L. Trubatch, How, Why, and When the U.S. Supreme Court Supports Nuclear Power, AJELP. n.d. Web.

Timothy J. Ross, Avoiding Apocalypse: Congress Should Ban Nuclear Power, LawBuffalo. n.d. Web.

Footnotes

  1. The plant is not the only establishment or party that relies on the water resource.
  2. Sheldon L. Trubatch, How, Why, and When the U.S. Supreme Court Supports Nuclear Power, AJELP (2012). Web.
  3. Charlotte A. Biblow, Considering Nuclear Power as Indian Point Faces License Renewal, 248.100 NY LJ. 1, 7 (2012).
  4. ibid.
  5. International Atomic Energy Agency, Managing the Socioeconomic Impact of the Decommissioning Of Nuclear Facilities, IAEA (2008). Web.
  6. Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 435 U.S. 519 (1978).
  7. Sheldon L. Trubatch, How, Why, and When the U.S. Supreme Court Supports Nuclear Power, AJELP (2012). Web.
  8. International Atomic Energy Agency, Managing the Socioeconomic Impact of the Decommissioning Of Nuclear Facilities, IAEA (2008). Web.
  9. Id S.15.
  10. Id S. 45.
  11. Nuclear Energy Institute, Economic Impacts of the Indian Point Energy Center, NEI (2015). Web.
  12. Sheldon L. Trubatch, How, Why, and When the U.S. Supreme Court Supports Nuclear Power, AJELP (2012). Web.
  13. Nuclear Energy Institute, 11.
  14. Matthew McKinzie and Christopher Paine, Nuclear Accident at Indian Point: Consequences and Costs, NRDC (2011). Web.
  15. Timothy J. Ross, Avoiding Apocalypse: Congress Should Ban Nuclear Power, LawBuffalo (2011). Web.
  16. id T. R. 5.
  17. Sheldon L. Trubatch, How, Why, and When the U.S. Supreme Court Supports Nuclear Power, AJELP (2012). Web.
  18. Ibid.
  19. International Atomic Energy Agency, Managing the Socioeconomic Impact of the Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities, IAEA (2008). Web.
  20. Timothy J. Ross, Avoiding Apocalypse: Congress Should Ban Nuclear Power, LawBuffalo (2011). Web.
  21. id.T.R. 15.
  22. Sheldon L. Trubatch, How, Why, and When the U.S. Supreme Court Supports Nuclear Power, AJELP (2012). Web.
  23. Id S.T. 19.
  24. Id S.T. 22.
  25. International Atomic Energy Agency, Managing the Socioeconomic Impact of the Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities, IAEA (2008). Web.
  26. Id.IAEA 14.
  27. Nuclear Energy Institute, Economic Impacts of the Indian Point Energy Center, NEI (2015). Web.
  28. Ibid.
  29. Timothy J. Ross, Avoiding Apocalypse: Congress Should Ban Nuclear Power, LawBuffalo (2011). Web.
  30. Metropolitan Edison v. People v. Nuclear Energy, No. 81-2399 (1983).
  31. Id. Metropolitan, 7.
  32. Metropolitan Edison v. People v. Nuclear Energy, No. 81-2399 (1983).
  33. Nuclear Energy Institute, Economic Impacts of the Indian Point Energy Center, NEI (2015). Web.
  34. Ibid.
  35. Minnesota v. NRC, 602F.2d 412(D.C.Cir. 1979).
  36. Minnesota v. NRC, 602F.2d 412(D.C.Cir. 1979).
  37. Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 435 U.S. 519 (1978).
  38. Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 435 U.S. 519 (1978).
  39. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 462 U.S. 87 (1983).
  40. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 462 U.S. 87 (1983).
  41. Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 435 U.S. 519 (1978).
  42. Nuclear Energy Institute, Economic Impacts of the Indian Point Energy Center, NEI (2015). Web.
  43. Ibid.
  44. NEI, 13.
  45. Ibid.
  46. Id. NEI. 18.
  47. Id. NEI. 20.
  48. ibid.
  49. Entergy, Entergy Corporation and Subsidiaries 2013 Annual Report, Entergy (2013). Web.
  50. id. E.C. 76.
  51. Nuclear Energy Institute, Economic Impacts of the Indian Point Energy Center, NEI (2015). Web.
  52. Id. NEI. 35.
  53. Id. NEI. 37.
  54. ibid.
  55. Sheldon L. Trubatch, How, Why, and When the U.S. Supreme Court Supports Nuclear Power, AJELP (2012). Web.

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