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NRC To Allow Indian Point Reactor To Operate With Expired License

Renewal Process To Likely Take A Year Due To Controversy
The Indian Point nuclear power plant - Buchanan, NY (file / credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

The Indian Point nuclear power plant – Buchanan, NY (file/credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Federal regulators have ruled, as expected, that a nuclear power reactor in the New York City suburbs can keep running after its license expires next month.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday that Indian Point 2 in Buchanan can operate while its license renewal application is being reviewed. It will become the first nuclear power plant to operate with an expired license.

The renewal process could be more than a year, given the controversy involved. New York state and environmental groups have voiced opposition to a new 20-year license.

Late last month, the NRC indicated Indian Point’s license was likely to be renewed. The NRC said the plant operated safely in 2012.

NRC regulations allow continued operation if a plant applies for a new license five years before expiration. Indian Point’s owners applied in 2007.

Plants also must show they’ve taken any steps necessary to assure safe operation during the review.

The plant is 35 miles from Manhattan. Another reactor there, Indian Point 3, has a license that expires in 2015.

Opponents have long called for the shutdown of the nuclear plant, citing its location in a huge population center.

The calls for Indian Point’s closure grew louder in the aftermath of Japan’s 2011 Fukushima earthquake and ensuing nuclear meltdown.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for the closure of Indian Point.

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