Entergy Gets Federal Extension to Run Indian Point Reactor

  • Indian Point 3 license was to expire at midnight Dec. 12
  • Plant's Unit 2 still running after license deadline in 2013

Entergy Corp. said its Indian Point 3 nuclear reactor north of New York City can keep running beyond a weekend deadline while the company pursues a renewal of its operating license.

The license was scheduled to expire at midnight Dec. 12, New Orleans-based Entergy said Thursday in a statement. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will allow it to run as long as the company is pursuing a 20-year license renewal for the 40-year-old reactor. Indian Point’s Unit 2 has run under similar terms since September 2013.

Entergy asked for a new license eight years ago. Renewal has been delayed as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo fights to close the plant, 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of New York City. Cuomo has said that evacuating the metropolis would be impossible after a major radioactive accident like the one at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant in 2011. A final NRC decision on the plant licenses is probably several years away, Entergy said.

In the unlikely event of an accident, evacuation can be done safely, Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi said in an e-mail.

The company closed its Vermont Yankee reactor in December and this year announced plans to close nuclear plants in Massachusetts and upstate New York, saying they lose money. Entergy has said Indian Point remains profitable and can operate safely under a new license.

Entergy fell 3.4 percent to $65.71 in New York. It is down 25 percent this year.

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