Indian Point Unit 2 and Unit 3 will close in 2020-2021 after powering New York for more than 40 years with clean, safe and reliable electricity.

Click here to view the slides presented by Bill Mohl, President of Entergy Wholesale Commodities, at the press conference on Monday, January 9, 2017.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the terms of the agreement between Entergy and New York State?

Under the agreement between Entergy and New York State, Indian Point Unit 2 will shut down by April 30, 2020 and Unit 3 by April 30, 2021. The settlement provides for an early and orderly shutdown in exchange for New York State supporting Indian Point’s license renewal and dropping its legal challenges. Entergy will continue to pursue federal license renewal.

Other terms include:

  • Coastal Zone Management Act Consistency Certification from New York State;
  • Water Quality Certificate and water discharge permits from New York State;
  • Agreement by New York State and primary intervenor Riverkeeper to withdraw legal challenges to license renewal;
  • Agreement by Entergy to provide $15 million as part of its continued commitment to community stakeholders and environmental stewardship; and
  • Various Entergy and state inspections of Indian Point, supplementing NRC inspections.
Why did Entergy decide to shut down Indian Point before the full term of renewed operating licenses for both units?

We determined that shutting down Indian Point on this timeline is prudent based on:

  • Sustained low current and projected wholesale energy prices that have reduced Indian Point’s revenues.
  • Record low gas prices, due primarily to supply from the Marcellus Shale formation, have driven down power prices by about 45 percent, or by about $36 per megawatt-hour, over the last ten years, to a record low of $28 per megawatt-hour .
  • A $10 per megawatt-hour drop in power prices reduces annual revenues by approximately $160 million for nuclear power plants such as Indian Point.
  • Increased operating costs.
  • An unprecedented 10-year license renewal process for Indian Point that has cost more than $200 million, with little likelihood of resolution in the near term, absent a settlement.
  • Entergy’s strategy to exit the merchant power business and focus on the growth of our regulated utility business.

Entergy and the employees at Indian Point have operated the facility safely, securely and reliably for more than 15 years, providing environmental, economic and grid reliability benefits to the state and its residents that will be difficult to replicate.

You have said IPEC provides 25 percent of New York City’s and Westchester County’s power supply. Where will the replacement power come from?

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) bears primary responsibility to ensure reliable operation of the electrical grid day-to-day, along with long-term planning and forecasting to ensure adequate electrical capacity to meet the region’s expected future demand. NYISO’s most recent analysis demonstrates that Indian Point’s generating capacity is needed to ensure there are no violations of grid reliability requirements.

The NYISO, the NYPSC and the State of New York, and the electric utilities that serve the region will need to work together to determine what steps need to be taken to protect grid reliability once the Indian Point units shut down.

The four-year notice we are providing should provide sufficient time for adequate steps to be taken to protect grid reliability without requiring that Indian Point run beyond 2020 and 2021. The NYISO can offer retiring plants a special contract if they are needed for reliability and are the lowest cost option for avoiding grid disruptions.

Entergy has a strong history of philanthropic investment within the Westchester, Hudson Valley and New York City metropolitan regions. Will Entergy cease to be an active and involved corporate citizen in the community?

Entergy is a proud supporter of important charitable and other organizations in the region. We will remain strongly engaged in our community through our charitable programs through the period of plant operation and will not speculate beyond that

The settlement terms include Entergy’s agreement to provide $15 million in funding as part of our continued commitment to community stakeholders and environmental stewardship.

Tell me more about the $15 million in funding Entergy will provide as part of the settlement agreement. Which stakeholders groups would qualify to receive a portion of the funds?

We recognize that this planned shutdown is a significant event for the local economy and for surrounding communities. Entergy will provide $15 million in funding as part of our continued commitment to community stakeholders and environmental stewardship.

What is the process for distributing the funds? My organization would like to apply. How do I do that?

These funds have not yet been earmarked for any specific organization, and the criteria for eligibility have not yet been determined.

Will you still pursue license renewal, and if so why?

Yes. The operating licenses for Indian Point Units 2 and 3 would have expired in 2013 and 2015, respectively, if Entergy had not previously filed a license renewal application. Entergy will continue to pursue renewed licenses for both units, but is obligated under the terms of the settlement agreement with New York State to shut down the plants permanently in 2020 and 2021, unless both parties agree an extension is warranted because of certain extraordinary or sudden circumstances.

Per the settlement agreement with the state, we will request an amendment to our license renewal application that will adjust the end term of a renewed license from 2033 and 2035 for Units 2 and 3, respectively, to 2024 and 2025.

What regulatory approvals are needed for the agreement to be finalized?

The early and orderly shutdown is part of a settlement under which New York State has agreed to drop legal challenges and support renewal of the operating licenses for Indian Point. Under the settlement, Indian Point will receive the State’s concurrence with its Coastal Zone Management Act Consistency Certification; a Water Quality Certificate and water discharge permit from New York State; and agreement by New York State and primary intervenor Riverkeeper to withdraw legal challenges to license renewal.

What does this mean for Indian Point’s employees?

We expect to continue operations with approximately the current staffing levels until the plants shut down, at which time we will transition into decommissioning.

Entergy will work with employees to ensure appropriate levels of staffing remain in place to continue to operate the plant safely and in accordance with our strict licensing standards.

Indian Point is a well-run plant, operated by some of the industry’s finest nuclear power professionals who work under the greatest scrutiny of any plant in the world. We recognize the consequences of an IPEC shutdown for our nearly 1,000 employees who have run the plant safely and reliably, and we will work closely with them to provide support during the transition.

How will you keep the required number of employees at Indian Point through closure in order to operate safely?

We expect to provide retention agreements for the employees at the site to continue operations with approximately current staffing levels until 2020/2021, when we will transition into decommissioning.

Entergy will work with employees at Indian Point to ensure appropriate levels of staffing remain in place to continue to operate the plant safely and in accordance with our strict licensing standards. As we did at other plants that we have decided to close, we will be transparent and realistic with our employees and other stakeholders about the process we are going through and give our employees as much clarity as we can about how this process will affect them.

Tell me more about Indian Point. How many employees are there?

Indian Point Energy Center is a dual-unit pressurized water reactor. Each operating unit generates about 1,000 megawatts of electricity – which combined is about enough to power two million homes in this area. Nearly 1,000 people are employed by Entergy at the site, and each year about 1,000 contractors supplement our workforce during a month-long refueling and maintenance outage.

What must be done to decommission a nuclear plant?

NRC regulations at 10 C.F.R. 50.2 define “decommission” to mean the removal of a facility safely from service and to reduce residual radioactivity to a level that permits the release of the property and termination of the NRC operating license. Under NRC regulations at 10 C.F.R. 50.82, a plant must be decommissioned within 60 years of the permanent cessation of operations. The initial activities involve extensive planning to safely and efficiently decommission the station and terminate each unit’s license and transferring used fuel to safe storage (spent fuel pool or dry cask storage).

How can we be assured that decommissioning will be handled properly?

After the plants are permanently shut down, safety will continue to be our top priority as we prepare for decommissioning. In addition, the NRC will continue to provide oversight -- both before and during decommissioning.

How long will the entire decommissioning process take?

It is premature to address that question. A detailed analysis for decommissioning, called the Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report (PSDAR), will be done at the appropriate time. The PSDAR is a description of planned decommissioning activities, a schedule for accomplishing them, and an estimate of expected costs. The report is due to the NRC within two years after a permanent shutdown of the plant and is made available for public review.

How many U.S. nuclear power stations/units have been decommissioned?

Since 1960, more than 70 test, demonstration and power reactors have been retired throughout the United States

Where can I obtain more information on decommissioning nuclear plants?

The NRC maintains frequently asked questions on nuclear plant decommissioning at this site: https://www.nrc.gov/waste/decommissioning/faq.html