Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant

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.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The city of Oswego has won the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative award for the central New York region. The competition gives $10 million to 10 communities throughout New York.

In Oswego Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo congratulated Oswego's leaders for developing what he called a smart plan that can help a city and region scarred by the loss of manufacturing.

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.

Alliance for a Green Economy

More than 100 organizations across New York and the country are sending a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking the state not to subsidize nuclear power plants.

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.

Constellation Energy Group

The owner of Nine Mile Point Nuclear Plant is again sounding a warning that without some financial help from New York state, it could have to close one of its reactors. This news on top of the announcement Fitzpatrick Nuclear Plant will be closing has Oswego county reeling.

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.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

At its annual meeting Thursday, Operation Oswego County, an economic development organization, said it helped create and retain about 386 jobs over the past year. But, the focus of the event centered on saving existing jobs that are at risk.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

During nearly two hours of testimony in Oswego City Hall Tuesday, community leaders and Nine Mile Point Nuclear Plant employees begged staff from New York's Public Service Commission to support the proposed "clean energy standard" under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's goal to generate half of the state's energy from renewable sources, like wind and solar, by 2030.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The impending closure of the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County is already financially impacting the nearby Mexico School District. School district officials are planning for the loss of $2.8 million this year alone.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The New York State Legislature has set aside $30 million in its new budget for communities devastated by closing power plants that result in at least a 20 percent reduction in the local property tax collections. It's intended to help offset the loss in places like Oswego County where the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant is slated to be shutdown in January.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The Oswego County Legislature approved a five-year tax agreement plan Thursday with the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant. Under the deal, FitzPatrick will pay the county, the Mexico School District and the town of Scriba $27.5 million through 2020 in lieu of traditional property taxes.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Despite several attempts to secure financial assistance for the struggling FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, no funding was included for it in New York state's next budget.

Assemblyman Will Barclay and state Sen. Patty Ritchie have both authored bills that would give Fitzpatrick's owner a $60 million tax credit, but neither were included in the budget, nor was a $100 million financial aid package to help pay for the cost of refueling the plant, which would need to be done this year.

Constellation Energy Group

Exelon Corporation says its Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in Scriba is losing money and it is hoping for financial assistance from New York state in the near future.

Exelon's Executive Vice President for Governmental Affairs Joseph Dominguez said the nuclear plant is not making enough money to break even because of falling energy prices, a similar situation for the company's Ginna plant nearby Rochester and for Entergy's Fitzpatrick Nuclear Plant, which is slated for closure next year.

Entergy

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

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Five years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, protesters in Syracuse are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stop supporting nuclear and invest in renewable energy instead. The protest was organized by the Alliance for a Green Economy.

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.

City of Oswego

Oswego's new mayor says he is well on the way to achieving reforms he targeted for his first 100 days. Halfway there, Mayor Billy Barlow is celebrating what he calls a new energy at city hall. He has opened new positions in the code enforcement department, a new city website is under development and the city's community development department is currently undergoing a complete overhaul.

"My approach up to this point has been let's get our house in order before we start trying to attract people when we don't have our act together," Barlow said.

Entergy

Update:

Just hours after the PSC announced its plan, Entergy said in a statement that the financial implications of the commission's efforts are too uncertain and that the proposal comes too late to save the FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant. The company said it will proceed with its plans to shutdown the FitzPatrick plant.

Earlier:

New York's Public Service Commission (PSC) is ordering its staff to develop a new rescue plan to help keep Oswego County's Fitzpatrick Nuclear Plant open.

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.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

New York lawmakers are proposing policies that they hope can save struggling upstate nuclear power facilities, including Oswego County's FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, from closing.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oswego's new mayor, William Barlow, said 2016 is a new beginning for the port city.

At his inauguration ceremony, Barlow wasted no time acknowledging that the Port City faces several uphill battles tied to city's finances. Still, he said the community has faced adversity before. Others, like former Common Councilor Michael Todd, are not quite so optimistic.

"There’s so many fires to put out, people are doing triage to try and fix what few things they can fix because the problem is so great and there’s no clear solution," Todd said.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which regulates nuclear power plants, is allowing the public more time to weigh in on how nuclear power plants are shut down as it considers changes to how the plants close, or decommission. It's a lengthy process that can take decades as the fuel decays and funds to pay for the shut down build up. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The state of New York's energy market changed dramatically in 2015. As natural gas and renewable sources took center stage, nuclear power sources like Oswego County's FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant were squeezed.

SUNY Oswego/Facebook

There are 615 people who count on the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County for more than just their energy; they rely on its paychecks too. A loss of those jobs could be disastrous for Oswego County, whose unemployment rate is among the highest in the state.

Shawn Doyle is one of the plant's employees. He has worked as a security guard at FitzPatrick for 28 years. Since announcing in November that it will begin shutting down the facility by early 2017, Entergy has begun telling some workers when they will be let go.

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