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Carlucci: State Must Help Residents, Ratepayers After Indian Point Closes

Sen. David Carlucci is sponsoring legislation that would create a  "Nuclear Storage Safety Fund" to protect residents and help prevent skyrocketing utility rates.
Sen. David Carlucci is sponsoring legislation that would create a "Nuclear Storage Safety Fund" to protect residents and help prevent skyrocketing utility rates. Photo Credit: File

In the wake of the decision to shutter the Indian Point Nuclear facility by 2021, Sen. David Carlucci is calling for the state to make sure that residents and ratepayers are protected in the process.

The closures come after Entergy reached a settlement agreement with New York State. As part of the shutdown agreement, the state has agreed to drop all legal challenges against the plant.

"I applaud the governor's leadership on this issue but the first priority is to make sure that there is a plan in place to safely store the spent nuclear fuel rods while making sure utility rates for consumers won't skyrocket while converting to alternative energy sources," stated Carlucci.

The county currently receives $4 million from Entergy and $750,000 from a tax on nuclear power plants that pays for five employees.

In an effort to help soften the blow to the county's coffers and to protect the public, Carlucci is sponsoring legislation that would create a dedicated fund used for safe storage of nuclear materials, including spent fuel rods after they are utilized.

The "Nuclear Storage Safety Fund" would be funded by nuclear facilities in an emergency planning zone with more than 200,000 residents. Those facilities will pay $750,000 annually for each storage facility that contains spent fuel rods.

"While Indian Point ends operations over the next few years, there has to be a proactive plan to safely store nuclear materials that will be radioactive for years in a way that protects community members and the natural environment," Carlucci concluded.

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