The scheduled premature shutdown of Indian Point-3 will all but guarantee a massive increase in fossil fuel use, according to an op-ed written by American Nuclear Society President Mary Lou Dunzik-Gougar and Executive Director/CEO Craig Piercy that was published in the New York Daily News on November 30.
Indian Point-3 is slated to be shut down in April 2021, four years before its operating license expires.
Why it matters: The op-ed states that according to city officials the closing of Indian Point-3 will lead to an 85 to 90 percent increase of fossil fuel in New York City’s power supply mix, spiking the state’s greenhouse gas emissions from electric generation by at least 30 percent from 2016 levels. “The loss of Indian Point,” it continues, “will also burden downstate New York’s already constrained power grid as it struggles to meet state mandates of procuring 70 percent renewables by 2030 and decarbonizing completely by 2040."
According to power grid operator New York ISO, without Indian Point, blackouts of up to 15 hours could be on the horizon for parts of New York City and Long Island.
More from the op-ed: “If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that we must listen closely to what the science tells us, filter out the political noise, and continually assess the risks of our options,” Dunzik-Gougar and Piercy state. “In this case, shouldn’t the governor at least confirm that real alternatives exist to keep NYC’s lights on and meet its 100 percent carbon-free electricity goals before shuttering Indian Point?”
An open letter: Other pronuclear organizations are taking up the battle to save Indian Point-3 as well. One of them, Nuclear New York, wrote an open letter to state elected officials that describes the impact on human health and climate change that will occur if the reactor is prematurely shut down. As of November 30, 14 groups had signed the letter, including New York Energy and Climate Advocacy, Doctors for Nuclear, Generation Atomic, and the U.S. Climate Coalition.