WASHINGTON—The Nuclear Energy Institute’s chief nuclear officer and senior vice president, Marvin Fertel, made the following comments in response to the announcement today by New York’s governor and attorney general that they oppose the 20-year license extension that Entergy Corp. is seeking for the Indian Point nuclear power station in Westchester County, N.Y.
“The position taken today by the governor and the attorney general pre-judges the facts concerning the Indian Point license renewal application.
“Before deciding whether to extend a nuclear power plant’s operating license, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission reviews a license renewal application for more than 22 months — nearly two years. In comparison, fewer than eight months have passed since Entergy filed its license renewal application for the Indian Point power station.
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s independent review is comprehensive so that it is assured that the company seeking to extend the operation of a nuclear power plant has in place the programs to monitor and manage safety systems and components like the reactor pressure vessel during the renewal period. This is above and beyond monitoring and improvements made to the plant on a daily basis to ensure that it is operating safely every day. In addition to the review of Entergy’s license renewal application, the NRC applies a minimum of 2,200 hours of oversight annually — including resident inspectors who are at the power station around the clock and supplemented by NRC officials at the regional and national levels.
“While state officials certainly should identify issues that they consider relevant to the safe operations of Indian Point going forward, they also have a responsibility, once they have done so, to let the deliberative regulatory processes function as intended.”