NY AG files lawsuit to support complete removal of Indian Point nuclear power facility

New York State

Indian Point Energy Center, Buchanan, NY (photo: Entergy Nuclear)

NEW YORK (WWTI) — A lawsuit was filed on Friday in regards to the complete dismantling of Indian Point.

On behalf of New York State, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit on Friday against the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission over the decommissioning of the Indian Point nuclear power facility located in the lower Hudson Valley.

The lawsuit challenges the Commission’s denial of New York’s petition for a hearing on the state’s concerns regarding the decommissioning plan. This plan was proposed by Holtec International and its subsidiaries.

The OAG also stated that the NRC requires all nuclear facilities to have a fund to eventually pay for facility decommissioning following closure. Indian Point currently has three decommissioning trusts which were support through New York ratepayer electricity bills. Indian Point currently has approximately $2.1 billion of aggregated trust funds for the decommissioning.

According to the Office of the Attorney General, Friday’s lawsuit challenges the NRC’s decision to allow Holtec to use over $630 million of the plant’s decommissioning trust funds for spend fuel management costs. Noting that this request is “the legal and financial responsibility of the federal government.”

AG James commented the following.

For the health and safety of New Yorkers, it’s imperative that Indian Point be safely, rapidly, and thoroughly dismantled,” said Attorney General James. “The NRC is attempting to bypass critical transparency and accountability steps, and also is seeking to make New Yorkers pay for the job. The NRC’s unwillingness to hear New York’s valid concerns is a slap in the face to all New Yorkers. I am committed to fighting back against the NRC’s misguided and illegal actions and ensuring that Indian Point is decommissioned in a responsible way.”

Additionally in response to Friday’s lawsuit, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also released a statement. It reads as follows.

“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s denial of New York’s request for a hearing on decommissioning Indian Point is unacceptable and a blatant disregard of the State’s serious concerns. Cleaning up Indian Point will be complicated and expensive, which is why it is critical that the NRC prioritizes an open and transparent process to ensure that Indian Point is decommissioned and restored both safely and thoroughly. In addition, decommissioning trusts funded by ratepayers should not be used as a slush fund to cover expenses that are ultimately the federal government’s obligation. New York remains steadfast in its efforts to hold any owner of Indian Point to the highest standards, and we will continue to fight to protect the vital interests of New Yorkers.”

New York Attorney James’ lawsuit against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was filed on January 22, 2021 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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