After years of relying on soiled and harmful nuclear energy, New York is lastly leaving the Indian Level nuclear energy plant behind. Positioned on the east financial institution of the Hudson River simply 25 miles north of New York Metropolis, Indian Level’s quantity 2 reactor was retired in April of this yr. Indian Level three is scheduled to close down subsequent yr.
Whereas ditching this outdated nuclear energy plant, New York has a possibility to grow to be a frontrunner on combating local weather change, cleansing up our surroundings, and bettering public well being by a strong funding in clear, renewable vitality. The very last thing New Yorkers wish to do is change from one soiled and harmful supply of vitality to a different.
But that’s precisely what supporters of a large enlargement of the Danskammer fracked gas power plant in Newburgh would have us consider is critical. It’s a false selection, peddled by self-serving fracked gasoline and nuclear energy firms.
“Danskammer” is Dutch for “dance chamber,” however the one issues dancing at Danskammer are harmful pollution that hurt public well being and the setting. Pollution from fracking are identified to trigger most cancers and hurt the nervous, respiratory, and immune techniques. Fracking additionally releases methane, a monster greenhouse gasoline that’s 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Because the plant can be permitted to pollute by means of 2053, its operation would contradict Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s purpose of 100% clear vitality by the yr 2040. If New Yorkers are searching for vitality options that don’t endanger public well being or worsen local weather change, a fracked gasoline energy plant just isn’t certainly one of them.
Due to its proposed location — a flood-prone space on the Hudson — Danskammer additionally poses some explicit environmental risks. As much as 1 million gallons of diesel and 30,000 gallons of aqueous ammonia can be saved on-site, presenting an infinite risk to our water within the occasion of any flooding or spills. It’s no shock that close by communities are clearly against this retooled energy plant. A complete of 25 municipalities within the Hudson Valley have adopted resolutions opposing the Danskammer scheme.
And the kicker is, these crops aren’t even wanted to satisfy the vitality wants of New Yorkers. Knowledge from the New York Impartial System Operator, which runs the state’s electrical energy grid, proves that the expansion of vitality effectivity and photo voltaic has already made up for Indian Point. Neither Danskammer nor three different just lately constructed gasoline crops–CPV Valley, Cricket Valley, and Bayonne Vitality Heart — are wanted to maintain the lights on after the nuclear reactors shut down. On prime of that, the $250 million Westchester Clear Vitality Funding Program exhibits that, with the best funding in native clear vitality applied sciences, battery storage, and vitality effectivity, New York can kick its habit to all soiled vitality. And by 2025, New York is on observe to extend renewable vitality and vitality effectivity by practically thrice as a lot electrical energy as Indian Level ever generated.
The proposed Danskammer fracked gasoline plant and the Indian Level nuclear reactors are two sides of the identical coin: Vitality options from the previous that endanger our well being and our planet. Simply as fracked gasoline energy crops threaten our well being and security with their harmful pollution, so does Indian Level with its radioactive leaks, radioactive waste, and catastrophic catastrophe dangers. New York Metropolis and the 20 million folks inside 50 miles of Indian Level will likely be safer when the plant closes in April. And, with out the reactors syphoning 2 billion gallons of water out of the Hudson each day, the river will begin to recuperate from greater than 4 many years of abuse.
Each fracked gasoline and nuclear energy crops divert treasured sources away from a speedy and orderly transition to secure, clear, renewable vitality. By doing this, each sorts of crops have delayed our transition to a clear vitality financial system and made local weather change worse.
New Yorkers are uninterested in the environmental and well being hazards of nuclear energy and fracked gasoline, and they’re uninterested in being instructed they’ve to decide on between one soiled, harmful vitality supply or one other. New Yorkers need clear, renewable energy, and that’s why they help closing Indian Level and oppose the proposed fracked gasoline Danskammer plant.
Tim Judson is the manager director of the Nuclear Data and Useful resource Service, and Wenonah Hauter is govt director of the nationwide advocacy group Meals & Water Motion.