Gas Speculators are Licking Their Chops in New York

With New York Governor reaffirming his opposition to Indian Point, natural gas speculators are lining up to position themselves to fill the enormous energy gap that would be left if the plant shuts down. One such speculator is a privately owned Swiss-based company, Advanced Power Services.  They have begun preliminary work to build a 1000 MW gas fired power plant in Dutchess County New York, about 40 miles north of Indian Point.  There was a front page article in the Poughkeepsie Journal today describing how shutting down the 2100 MW nuclear plant could help the local project gain traction. News that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has issued his strongest statement yet in favor of closing the Indian Point nuclear power plant has improved the chances that a proposed plant in Dutchess County would be built. I know something about Dutchess County, NY because I lived there for several years while working at Indian Point.  In reading the story, I wondered if the editors of the Poughkeepsie Journal gave one moments thought to the fact that many of the people who work at Indian Point live in Dutchess County?  There’s no mention in the article of the serious economic impact that would befall the county shold Indian Point be prematurely shut down. Here’s a copy of the comment I posted on the online version of the article: This article seems to imply there would be a silver lining for Dutchess County if Gov. Coumo has his way and shuts down Indian Point. In reality, trading Indian Point for a 1000 MW gas fired power plant is a terrible idea and would harm Dutchess County. A large number, probably at least 300 of the 1100 men and women who work at Indian Point live in Dutchess County. They earn good paychecks and spend most of it in the county. Most own homes and pay property and school taxes. Sure, the new plant would hire a few people, but nuclear plants pay WAY MORE than gas plants, and it takes ten times as many people to run a nuclear plant as a gas plant. The net effect would be a huge loss of jobs. If Indian Point is shut down, hundreds of families will leave Dutchess County. As they go they will flood the already depressed real estate market with homes for sale. Do you remember the impact of the IBM layoffs of the 1990’s on housing prices? It took a decade for home prices to begin to recover. Then there’s the impact on electricity rates. While natural gas is relatively inexpensive now, nuclear energy is still cheaper. More gas power and less...

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NY Gov. Cuomo Reacts to Flawed Report on Earthquake Risk at Indian Point Nuclear Plant

Bloomberg.com and other news outlets reported yesterday that NY Governor Andrew Cuomo is meeting with the NRC today in Washington DC to discuss the risk of earthquake damage at the Indian Point Nuclear Plant.  According to Bloomberg, the Governor’s concern was sparked by an MSNBC.com report that concluded Indian Point is the most likely nuclear plant in the USA to experience core damage and a release of radioactive contamination following an earthquake. This is a perfect example of how erroneous news reports about nuclear energy never seem to die.  Even when such reports are refuted by multiple more qualified sources, politician still react.  Anti-nuclear groups are astute at using these flawed reports to support their calls for nuclear plants to shut down.  The details of this situation are contained in my letter to the editor of Bloomberg.com responsible for the story.  Here’s a copy: My letter to Mr. Theo Mullen, Editor, Bloomberg.com News on March 22, 2011 Mr. Mullen, Your story “New York, NRC Set to Meet About Indian Point Plant Safety” that appeared yesterday on Bloomberg.com news missed some important facts that are highly relevant to the issue of safety at the Indian Point nuclear plant. Concern by Gov. Cuomo and other NY officials over the earthquake risk at Indian Point was heightened when they learned that Indian Point Nuclear Plant is “at the top of the list” for earthquake risk in the USA.  The source of their heightened concern was a poorly researched report that first surfaced in this article by MSNBC.com: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42103936/ns/world_news-asiapacific/.   This erroneous report was spread quickly by countless news organizations and anti-nuclear groups. The story by MSNBC.com reporter Bill Dedman was fundamentally flawed; he misused and mischaracterized NRC data.  In addition, his article contained many gross inaccuracies.  In fact, the NRC, in a very uncharacteristically blunt manner, refuted Dedman’s inappropriate use of their data as was reported here: http://www.dailytech.com/NuclearGate+US+NRC+Confirms+MSNBCcom+Reporter+Lied+Sensationalized+Story/article21170.htm In summary, Gov. Cuomo’s concerns over earthquake risks at Indian Point are misplaced, and are the result of sloppy reporting and an overt attempt to sensationalize the risks. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this story. Sincerely, John Wheeler Producer, This Week in...

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