The impending shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear plant outside New York City fulfills a longtime mission of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who worked with environmental groups to force its ending.
But the closure of the plant’s last reactor on April 30 will likely lead to a short-term increase in fossil fuel use. It will also undercut another Cuomo goal, mandated by law, for New York to use 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, one of the most aggressive climate targets in the country. Until last year, when the second of the plant’s three reactors shut down, Indian Point provided 25% of New York City’s power, all of it carbon-free.
“Historically, the closure of existing nuclear plants has caused emissions in those areas to increase,” said Brett Rampal, director of nuclear innovation at the Clean Air Task Force. “In a state like New York trying to commit to long-term decarbonization, the closure of Indian Point is going