As reported by Reuters, now that Entergy has announced it will permanently shutdown its Vermont Yankee atomic reactor by the end of next year, the focus is shifting to the struggle between the nuclear utility and the State of New York, and a broad coalition of environmental groups and area residents concerned about the safety, health, and security risks for 21 million people within 50 miles of the twin Indian Point Unit 2 and 3 reactors in Westchester County near New York City (photo, left).
As reported by USA Today, Entergy says it has no plans to shutdown Indian Point Units 2 & 3, despite their 40-year operating license expirations in Sept., 2013 and 2015, respectively. However, as reported, groups like Riverkeeper -- which has intervened against the license extensions, raising numerous contentions -- beg to differ.
Roger Witherspoon has reported in The Huffington Post that Indian Point 2 will be the first atomic reactor to operate with an expired license, compliments of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which has rubber-stamped an exemption.
During his final press conference as NRC Chairman in summer 2012, Greg Jaczko, in response to a reporter's question, said there is plenty of wiggle room in NRC regulations for Indian Point 2 to continue operating despite its license expiration. Such a mockery of rule of law and regulation flies in the face of something Jaczko told a coalition of concerned local residents and environmental group representatives, including from Beyond Nuclear, during a May 25, 2012 meeting near the problem-plagued Palisades atomic reactor in southwest MI (also owned by Entergy, by the way). Jaczko said once a 40-year license or a 20-year license extension is granted to a nuclear utility for constructing and/or operating an atomic reactor, there is little to nothing NRC can do to force its premature shutdown. Which is exactly why watchdogs were so upset with him for joining with 5 to 0 NRC Commission votes to extend the operating licenses by 20 years at Palisades, as well as Entergy's Vermont Yankee, as but two examples.