Bill Memo: Safety First
This bill amends the public service law, in relation to providing for decommissioning oversight boards for nuclear power plants in New York State.
Nuclear power plants continue to pose threats to human health and the environment long after a facility has closed its doors. This bill establishes a framework for safely decommissioning nuclear power plants in New York State.
After a nuclear power plant has shut down, radioactive material, including spent nuclear fuel, remains behind. The decommissioning of plants needs to be handled carefully to prevent contamination around the facility as toxic waste is removed and remediated. Local water bodies used as drinking water sources may be especially at risk.
This bill establishes Decommissioning Oversight Boards, which will utilize the knowledge of state agencies, community members, labor representatives, and other affected parties to watchdog the company conducting the decommissioning, keep the public informed, and guide a just transition to an appropriate future use for the site. This bill rightly recognizes the decommissioning process is a complex network of intersecting federal and state requirements and that coordination of all the stakeholders is critical to ensure a comprehensive and safe decommissioning process.
In particular, the need for this legislation is important in light of the fact that the last Indian Point nuclear power plant reactor (IP3) is permanently shutting down in April 2021. This oversight board must be operational ahead of the IP3 closure.
Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Substantial Benefit
Memo #: 34