Business council report supports renewal of N.Y. nuclear plant's license

Indian Point Energy Center
Indian Point Energy Center | Courtesy of Shutterstock
Support for renewing the license of the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, New York, has gained some steam from a recent report by the Business Council of Westchester.

The report finds considerable benefits from nuclear energy, and the council stresses the need to renew the plant's license.

“We want to help members grow, and energy costs are a key issue for lightening the burden on businesses,” John Ravitz, executive vice president of the Business Council of Westchester, New York, told Power News Wire.

“The relicensing of the plant is a top priority for the council,” Ravitz said. “Without it, it would have a devastating economic impact for Westchester and the surrounding areas.”

Ravitz said the council put out a report about what would happen if the plant closed. Some of the outcomes involved the loss of the availability of electricity, higher utility costs and the loss of jobs in every industry. “All municipalities rely on it.” Ravitz said.

Without the plant, “close to 6 million tons of carbon would be released. Keeping the plant open is a necessity.” Ravitz said.

Ravitz said the NRC recently said the plant can still remain in operation while the renewal process is underway, which “creates confidence that the plant is important to the community and the lease will be renewed.” Ravitz said.

As for New York Gov. Mario Cuomo’s support for closing the plant, Ravitz said, “The governor’s opposition to the plant’s lease renewal is puzzling, since closing the plant would cause great harm. If it’s about safety issues, the NRC has already confirmed that the plant meets all safety measures.”

“The council supports alternative sources for energy, like solar and wind, and promotes those sources. At the same time, we still rely on nuclear energy, and until it can be fully replaced with alternative sources, we need the plant.” Ravitz said.

To promote alternative-energy practices, Ravitz said the council created a program called the Green Business Challenge, which helps businesses stay on track with recycling, creating less waste and being more energy-efficient.

“250 businesses and their employees are currently involved,” Ravitz said. “We even have a certification program now that further promotes ‘green’ values in businesses. The employees then take their green practices to their homes. It is a great program, and we plan to continue the promotion of the Green Business Challenge in the future.”

The Business Council of Westchester is the largest business council in the region, with over 1,000 members, including multinational companies, hospitals, universities, nonprofits and small businesses.

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