Friday, September 11, 2015

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Public health and safety is “number one,” Indian Point chief tells business people

TOWN OF WALLKILL – The top Entergy Corporation official at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan told Orange County Chamber of Commerce members Thursday that the facility is safe and secure.

Larry Coyle, site vice president of the Indian Point Energy Center, said nuclear power has seen a decrease in price as of late, due to the indicators for natural gas, which is a good thing for energy consumers.

Coyle: "... proper perspective
and outcome ..."

“One of the factors that the market really looks for is, that bases the price on electric rates, is the price of natural gas because natural gas generation, which can ultimately produce electricity, is a factor in how you price electric rates in the U.S.,” said Coyle. “So because the natural gas prices have come down, that has really reduced the prices of energy which is great for me and great for the consumer.”

Although the energy prices have been decreasing, there are no plans to expand nuclear energy in New York. Coyle said there are only four new nuclear power plants being built in the U.S. and they are all being built in the southern states; however, this is not representative of a decline in nuclear energy.

Chamber members asked about the safety of the facility, some pointing to the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan.

Coyle explained the differences in operation protocols between Indian Point and specifically, those that were present in Fukishima, putting to rest any doubts of Indian Point’s safety. Coyle said mandatory training exercises are conducted for one week out of every five weeks.

“Both my non-licensed operators and my operators in the control room, go through extensive testing to make sure that we handle any and all emergencies,” he said. “That’s really what that focus is for every one week out of five, making sure that public health and safety is number one and we practice and practice on taking systems away, having malfunctions and making sure we operate within our procedures, within our standards, to make sure that we provide that proper perspective and outcome on public health and safety.”

Coyle welcomed anyone with the opportunity to come down to the plant and witness for themselves the caliber of safety and security present within Indian Point.  

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