UPDATE 4-New York to seek power in case nuclear plant closes

Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:41pm EDT
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By Scott DiSavino

March 14 (Reuters) - New York utility regulators on Thursday approved a proposal to seek 1,350 megawatts (MW) of generation or transmission later in March to keep the power grid reliable in case Entergy Corp's Indian Point nuclear power plant is closed.

The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) staff said that if the 2,037-MW plant shuts in 2015 when its last reactor operating license expires, the additional power would be needed by the summer of 2016.

One megawatt can power about 1,000 homes.

The PSC said it was not taking a position on whether Indian Point, which produces about a quarter of the power used in New York City, should shut down.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants the two reactors at Indian Point to shut when their operating licenses expire in 2013 and 2015 in part because the plant is within the heavily populated New York metropolitan area, which is home to about 20 million people.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which regulates the country's nuclear power plants, has said Indian Point is safe.

Entergy is seeking new 20-year operating licenses from the NRC for the Indian Point reactors.   Continued...