Back in March, we reported that the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, a mere 24 miles away from NYC, houses one of the most dangerous reactors in the country. Closing it down, however, might be a double edged sword. The DEP released a report stating that shutting down Indian Point will lead to high levels of dirty air, cause a greater risk of burnout, and force higher electric bills on New Yorkers.
Despite a report being circulated around Albany, Governor Andrew Cuomo is still determined to have the plant shut down, a longstanding position he’s maintained within the administration. Closing down Indian Point will also affect Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC environmental policy for a greener city, increasing carbon emissions and nitrogen oxides in the air by 10 percent. This would in turn, conflict with some of NYC’s recent air pollution regulations as well.
Replacing Indian Point’s total energy output also requires more fuel-burning plants, and does not give the city or state adequate time to implement some of it’s crucial solar and wind energy programs to use as an alternative. Power plants in Astoria, Queens, Bayonne, N.J., and a transmission cable from New Jersey to Manhattan could help replace some of the power deficit, but would not “meet the standards for reliability required in the city,” reports the NY Times.
In light of the recent crisis in Japan, nuclear plants have received increasing scrutiny from both the public and other environmental institutions. Despite Governor Cuomo’s insistence on following through with closing down Indian Point, in light of recent reports, this could potentially cause more harm than good.