Entergy

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Local IBEW 97 labor union president Ted Skerpon said the past year has been a roller coaster for the employees he represents at the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant and the nearby Nine Mile Point Nuclear Facility. Both were on the brink of closure at one point because of economic losses.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Environmental critics of nuclear power are seizing on a few safety incidents at the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant detailed in a report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Nine months after Entergy said it would close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba, the company announced it would be selling the financially struggling plant to Exelon instead. The sale saves more than 600 high-paying jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy.
 

The Mexico Middle School marching band played songs at a FitzPatrick rally with Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday celebrating the announcement.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr

New York's energy consumers will foot the bill for the decision by the Public Service Commission (PSC) to save the state's nuclear power plants, which is part of a clean energy initiative. But the commission said the increase in energy rates to subsidize the plants will actually save the state and consumers a lot of money in the long-run.

PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman said supporting nuclear power plants, many of which are on the brink of closure because of competition from cheap natural and oil, will help New York reduce its carbon dioxide emissions and thus energy costs.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

If the recently approved nuclear subsidies can save the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County, it likely will not be with Entergy as its owner.

FitzPatrick spokeswoman Tammy Holden said Entergy is pleased with the New York Public Service Commission's (PSC) decision to subsidize the state's financially struggling nuclear power plants, but she said that did not change the company's mind about their earlier decision to close the plant. Entergy is in negotiations with Exelon, owner of the Nine Mile Point and Ginna nuclear plants in upstate, for the sale of FitzPatrick.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The fate of upstate New York's nuclear power plants could be decided today. The state's Public Service Commission (PSC) will vote on a massive nuclear power subsidy program that several plant owners say they need to survive and what anti-nuclear forces call a wasteful investment in a dangerous power source.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) says the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County performed safely over the past year. NRC officials say that its staff devoted 4,790 hours reviewing the plant over the past year, but did not finding anything that caused the agency to increase oversight. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Pro- and anti-nuclear power groups are making their final cases for New York state to adopt or reject a proposal that would financially support the state's nuclear power plants. A decision on the nuclear subsidy plan is expected from the Public Service Commission (PSC) within the next week.

Entergy

Negotiations are underway between two nuclear power companies that could save the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County. Entergy had all but guaranteed that it would shut the plant down because it was losing $60 million annually, but a state plan to subsidize New York's nuclear plants is enticing another company to buy and operate the facility.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The owner of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County, which is scheduled to be closed starting in January, is in discussions to sell the plant to Exelon, owner of the nearby Nine Mile Point facility. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Entergy, the owner of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, has confirmed that it is in talks with Exelon, which owns Oswego County's Nine Mile Point Nuclear Plant, to buy and operate FitzPatrick, which is scheduled to be closed in January because of financial troubles.

Entergy

The FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant is still offline as its employees and New York state continue their inspection of why the plant unexpectedly shut down last week.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Laughlin / U.S. Coast Guard District 9

New York state is investigating the unexpected shutdown of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County on Friday. The state Public Service Department says as a result of the shutdown, a stuck valve released oil into Lake Ontario Sunday. The source of the leak, which was not radioactive,has been stopped. And now, the U.S. Coast Guard says the process of removing the oil from the lake has begun.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed doubt about a proposed plan for New York state to take over the financially impaired FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County. State Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-Oswegathcie) and other state leaders have suggested that the plant could be saved if New York purchased or seized it using eminent domain.

That could potentially buy enough time for FitzPatrick to become profitable again if the New York Public Service Commission approves some nuclear plant subsidies this summer, called zero emission credits.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

New York lawmakers say if the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant and its 615 jobs are to be saved, they just need to keep it open long enough to benefit from nuclear plant subsidies that are currently under consideration, but its owner Entergy has repeatedly said it is not interested in that state support. So, some state lawmakers are now proposing drastic steps to rescue FitzPatrick that could involve a state takeover of the plant.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News File Photo

In the past week, two major natural gas pipelines have been scrapped in New York. A third, which would expand a line that is near the Indian Point Nuclear Power plant, is still scheduled, but opponents are putting pressure on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to use his persuasive powers with the federal government to stop the expansion.

Opponents of new pipelines carrying natural gas extracted from hydrofracking have had a good week.

Entergy

New York Senate Republicans are offering a budget proposal that includes $100 million for Oswego County's James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant.

Entergy

If the owner of the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant refuses to keep the facility open, can the state force it to? That's the question after FitzPatrick owner Entergy has rejected several offers to help keep the financially stressed plant from closing in January. The company says it's too late, but some think the state may not need Entergy's approval.

Tony Fischer / Flickr

An official with Entergy said that its decision to close Oswego County's James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant last October is negatively affecting the way state lawmakers view its Indian Point nuclear facility.

Oswego County emergency management officials say one of the emergency sirens that surround the county's three nuclear power plants inadvertently went off twice early Wednesday morning.

The siren, located on County Route 1 in Scriba near the entrance to the Novelis Aluminum plant, went off shortly after 3:00 a.m. and again just before 4:00 a.m. County 911 officials received a radio signal from the siren that indicated a malfunction.

Credit Diliff / Wikimedia Commons

A study is underway that some New York officials are hoping will save Oswego County's FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant.

When Entergy notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in November that it planned to close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in about a year, it triggered a ninety-day study. 

David Sommerstein / NCPR file photo

When Entergy first announced in November that they would close Fitzpatrick, some elected officials suggested that Exelon could potentially play a role in saving the plant. That prospect looks very dim now.

"There have been high level CEO to CEO discussions. However, no deal has been reached and Exelon has stated it’s not interested in purchasing FitzPatrick," said Tammy Holden, spokeswoman for the plant.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

A new plan has been proposed to keep the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County open. But it may not be enough.

Entergy

Despite two attempts at negotiations with New York state, Entergy said those talks were unsuccessful and are now over. The company will close the James A. Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant at the end of its current fuel cycle in about a year.

Entergy

Entergy informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Wednesday that it will "permanently cease power operations" at the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County at the end of its current fuel cycle. The company also told FitzPatrick's 615 employees that the plant will close at the end of 2016 or early 2017. 

Entergy

“Never say never, but highly unlikely.” That’s what Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi said Tuesday about the possibility of the company reversing course and keeping open the FitzPatrick nuclear plant near Oswego.

"This decision, we view it as a final decision," said Nappi. "It’s one the company made reluctantly, because the plant is very well run. It’s just not economically viable."

Entergy says cheap natural gas is bringing down wholesale electricity prices. Operating the plant, the company says, has cost it $60 million.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

What is in store for Oswego County if Entergy moves forward with its plan to close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant? One clue may lie in Vermont, where Entergy closed a similarly-sized nuclear plant a year ago. WRVO's Payne Horning spoke with John Dillon, the news director at Vermont Public Radio, about what's happened to the town of Vernon, Vermont, since Entergy announced the closure of the Yankee Nuclear Power Plant last December.

Entergy/FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant

The future of the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant is once again up for negotiation. That is a direct reversal from earlier this week when Entergy said it would close the plant and state officials objected -  vowing to fight the company. More than 600 jobs hang in the balance.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

Talks over the future of the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in Oswego County  have resumed between Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office and Entergy, which owns the plant. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said he is in talks with the president of Entergy, about keeping the facility open. Entergy announced this week that it will close Fitzpatrick in about a year due to falling energy prices. They also complained about a lack of state financial assistance for the nuclear industry.

Entergy

State officials are saying they were caught by surprise Monday when Entergy announced it plans to close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant in Oswego County. New York state had been in talks with Entergy, but the company said it didn't get the agreement it was looking for. But, state leaders are saying if the talks are not reopened, they will take matters into their own hands. 

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