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New Yorl closes one dangerous nuclear power station, but props up twp others

taxpayer bailoutNew York readies for nuclear energy from aging power plants, Herald Net, Jan 29th, 2017  By David Klepper Associated Press OSWEGO, N.Y. — When the Nine Mile Point reactor first went online, Richard Nixon was president, the Beatles were still a band and Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima weren’t yet bywords for the hazards of nuclear power.

Almost 50 years later, New York state is betting big on the future of Nine Mile Point, one of the nation’s two oldest nuclear plants.

The state is putting up $7.6 billion in subsidies to ensure that the plant and two other upstate nuclear plants stay open, part of New York’s strategy to lean on nuclear energy as it ramps up renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydroelectric.

But even as Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration embraces nuclear power upstate, it’s moving to shutter the Indian Point nuclear plant some 30 miles north of New York City.

To critics, Cuomo is making a political calculation that favors jobs and energy upstate, and safety and the environment downstate.

“These things have an expiration date, and they’re really pushing it,” said Sue Matthews, who worked for contractors building Nine Mile Point’s second reactor in the 1980s. She said her opposition to the plant makes her the “most hated” woman in town. “Everyone here depends on that place — the jobs, the property taxes. They can’t afford to close it.”

Nuclear plants around the nation are at a similar crossroads, with more closures likely as owners become reluctant to spend increasingly large sums operating aging plants.

Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, Nile Mile Point is a wonder of Cold War-era engineering, with miles of colored pipes and wires snaking through long corridors to a cathedral-sized turbine room. Anyone getting close to the reactor is fitted with a small dosimeter to monitor exposure, and must step inside a phone-booth sized radiation scanner before and after.

The plant’s first reactor went online in 1969, sharing the nation’s-oldest honor with the Oyster Creek plant in New Jersey.

Immediately adjacent to Nine Mile Point is a second, 42-year-old nuclear plant, FitzPatrick, which was slated to close before Cuomo’s nuclear bailout package was approved. A third, the 47-year-old Ginna nuclear power plant, is located just east of Rochester……….

Environmental groups critical of nuclear power don’t like Cuomo’s approach.

“The governor should take his own advice,” said Alex Beauchamp, of the group Food & Water Watch. “And close the other nuclear plants upstate instead of propping up a costly and unsafe industry with $7.6 billion in New Yorkers’ money.” http://www.heraldnet.com/news/new-york-readies-for-nuclear-energy-from-aging-power-plants/

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January 30, 2017 - Posted by | politics, USA

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