Nov 23 - Entergy Corp said on Wednesday it will
pursue various options to renew licenses to operate its Indian
Point nuclear power plant for another two decades after New
York's highest court ruled against the company this week.
On Monday, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that the New
York State Department of State (NYSDOS) has the right to review
Indian Point's Coastal Zone Management application.
The NYSDOS objected to Entergy's coastal zone management
certification in November 2015. Entergy needs the Coastal Zone
Management certificate as part of its federal application to
relicense the two Indian Point reactors.
Entergy, however, said it withdrew its coastal zone
management certification from NYSDOS review in 2014 before the
agency objected to its application, so the state's ruling could
If that withdrawal was not valid, Entergy said the company
has the right to appeal to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. If
that withdrawal was valid, the company said it can file a new
Separately, Entergy said its lawsuit filed in federal court
in January 2016 related to the NYSDOS objection was still
pending. Entergy argued that the NYSDOS objection was based on
nuclear safety concerns, which are a federal and not a state
Entergy is seeking a 20-year license renewal for Indian
Point. The plant is located about 40 miles north of Manhattan in
the town of Buchanan on the shores of the Hudson River.
To relicense the plant's two reactors, Entergy is seeking
1 - The federal operating license from the U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission (NRC).
2 - A water permit from the New York Department of
Environmental Conservation (NYDEC).
3 - A Coastal Zone Management certification from the New
York State Department of State (NYSDOS).
The following is a timeline on Entergy's efforts to
relicense the two reactors at Indian Point for another 20 years:
November 2016 - The New York Court of Appeals, the highest
court in the state, ruled on Monday that the NYSDOS has the
right to review Indian Point's Coastal Zone Management
July 2016 - NRC ASLB gives the parties opposed to the
relicesing of Indian Point until March 2017 to respond to
whatever Entergy finds in its analysis of problems with bolts in
May 2016 - NRC commissioners told the NRC staff to
re-evaluate aspects of a severe accident mitigation analysis as
part of Entergy's application to renew the licenses for Indian
February 2016 - Entergy reports tritium leak at the plant.
January 2016 - Entergy asks U.S. federal district court to
reject the NYSDOS' objection to the plant's Coastal Zone
Management Act certification.
December 2015 - Indian Point 3 license expires. The plant
can continue to run so long as the relicensing process is
December 2015 - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo directed
state energy regulators to develop a process to prevent the
premature retirement of Upstate nuclear power plants. At the
same time however, he opposed the continued operation of Indian
Point because he does not believe the area around the plant,
located about 40 miles north of New York City, can be safely
evacuated if there is a problem.
November 2015 - NYSDOS objects to federal Coastal Zone
Management Act certification for Indian Point. The objection,
unless overturned by a court or the U.S. Secretary of Commerce,
would prohibit the NRC from renewing the plant's operating
licenses. Entergy, however, said it withdrew its certification
application in 2014 so the NYSDOS had nothing to object to.
November 2015 - New York State asks NRC to deny Entergy's
application to relicense the two reactors at Indian Point.
November 2015 - Entergy says it will shut the FitzPatrick
reactor in Upstate New York by early 2017 due primarily to weak
power market conditions brought about by low natural gas prices
from shale formations. Unlike his opposition to the continued
operation of Indian Point, Cuomo opposed the planned shutdown of
October 2015 - Entergy said it would shut the Pilgrim
reactor in Massachusetts by June 2019 due primarily to similar
weak market conditions harming FitzPatrick.
December 2014 - New York State appeals court finds Indian
Point is exempt from review under the New York Coastal Zone
Management Program under a grandfathering clause. The decision
overturned previous decisions by the state's Supreme Court, the
trial court in New York, and a regulatory decision by the
December 2014 - After winning a long relicensing battle with
the state of Vermont, Entergy shuts the Vermont Yankee nuclear
reactor due mostly to weak market conditions.
2014 - Entergy says it could take the NRC until 2017 or 2018
to complete the Indian Point relicensing process. Some analysts
have suggested Entergy could strike a deal with New York that
would allow the reactors to obtain the 20-year license renewal
but shut sometime before the licenses expire to overcome NYDEC
concerns about fish kills. That would be similar to Exelon
Corp's deal with New Jersey on the Oyster Creek nuclear
2013 - Entergy wins on eight of nine contentions against the
relicensing before NRC's Atomic Safety Licensing Board (ASLB).
The losing contention concerns transformers, which Entergy said
it would fix. The ASLB, which allowed other contentions since
2012, had at least six other contentions to hear before
providing a recommendation on whether to approve Entergy's
relicensing application to the NRC commission.
September 2013 - Unit 2 license expired. The unit can
continue operating so long as the relicensing process is
2013-14 - NYDEC proposes Entergy shut Indian Point reactors
for an average of 42 days during summer instead of installing
cooling towers to protect fish to qualify for the State
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and Water Quality
Certificate, which the plant needs to continue operating.
2012 - NRC ASLB holds hearings on 10 contentions from
environmental groups and New York State opposed to the
relicensing. With so many contentions, the NRC cannot say when
the Commission will make a final decision on relicensing.
2011 - Andrew Cuomo becomes governor of New York. He opposes
the continued operation of Indian Point.
2010 - NYDEC denies Indian Point Water Quality Certificate
because it believes the plant violates the federal Clean Water
Act and wants Entergy to install a closed loop cooling system
like cooling towers. Entergy has argued before an administrative
law judge and others at the NYDEC that cooling towers would cost
up to $2 billion and could not be built before 2029. Instead,
Entergy wants to install a $200 to $250 million Wedgewire screen
system that would protect more fish because it could be
installed in about three years.
2009 - Entergy files with NYDEC for a 20-year Water Quality
Certificate that is required before the NRC can relicense the
2007 - Entergy files with NRC to renew both unit's 40-year
operating licenses for an additional 20 years.
2003 - NYDEC determined Indian Point will have to do more to
reduce the impact of the plant's cooling water intake system on
aquatic organisms. Indian Point withdraws up to 2.5 billion
gallons of water a day from the Hudson River. The state and
environmental groups have said the cooling system kills over a
billion fish, fish eggs and larvae each year. Entergy has been
seeking the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System from
the NYDEC ever since.
2001 - Entergy buys Indian Point Unit 2 from Consolidated
Edison Inc for $502 million plus about $100 million for
2000 - Entergy buys Indian Point Unit 3 and the FitzPatrick
reactors from New York Power Authority (NYPA) for $967 million.
1992 - Indian Point owners file with NYDEC to renew the
plant's State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.
1976 - Unit 3 enters commercial service.
1974 - Unit 2 enters commercial service.
1974 - Con Edison shuts Unit 1.
1974 - To help Con Edison weather the financial crisis after
the 1973 OPEC oil embargo, New York State ordered the
state-owned NYPA to buy and complete a couple of power plants
Con Edison was building at the time, including Unit 3 at Indian
1962 - Con Edison gets operating license for the 275-MW Unit
1, a pressurized water reactor.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino)