The two operating units at Indian Point Energy Center, Unit 2 and Unit 3, received their renewed operating licenses on September 17, 2018 from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), ending more than 11 years of regulatory review. Plant owner Entergy (NYSE: ETR) had applied for the licenses in April 2007.
The receipt of the renewed operating licenses does not change the schedule for the retirement of the Indian Point units in accordance with a 2017 settlement agreement between Entergy and New York State. Under the settlement agreement, Unit 2 will shut down by April 30, 2020 and Unit 3 by April 30, 2021. Entergy cited sustained, lower wholesale power prices as the main factor in its decision to enter into the settlement agreement and shut down the Indian Point units.
The renewed federal licenses permit Unit 2 to operate until April 30, 2024 and Unit 3 to operate until April 30, 2025. The decision to seek renewed licenses that terminate in that timeframe was agreed to by all parties to the 2017 settlement agreement and is intended to allow for limited, continued operations of one or both units – if agreed to by both New York State and Entergy – in the event of unexpected and severe disruptions of the regional electric grid. Entergy does not have any expectation that either unit will run beyond its scheduled shutdown in 2020 and 2021. In February 2017, Entergy filed with the NRC a Notification of Permanent Cessation of Power Operations (Docket Nos. 50-247 and 50-286) certifying that it has decided to permanently cease power operations by those dates.
Entergy concluded the final refueling and maintenance outage at Unit 2 in April of this year, investing tens of millions of dollars to ensure continued safety and reliability. Entergy will conduct the final refueling and maintenance outage at Unit 3 in the spring of 2019. Both Indian Point units remain under the NRC’s normal safety ov ersight, to which Entergy remains committed. (Entergy)