Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant

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.

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. 

The city of Oswego faces many of the same economic challenges facing cities all over upstate New York, including plant closings and the flight of you, educated adults from the area. One young adult who has stayed in Oswego is Billy Barlow. At 25, Barlow was elected mayor of Oswego and will be the youngest mayor in the state when he takes office in January. 

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

As the state plans to implement the governor's goal for double the amount of renewable energy on the market, a new study says losing upstate nuclear power plants would be a major set back for the initiative. The findings suggest that without nuclear power utilities would turn to fossil fuels over renewable sources.

Entergy/FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant

As state officials seek a way to keep the struggling Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant open, a new study finds that losing them could lead to higher electricity prices.

The Brattle Group, an economic consultant firm, published a study this week that finds upstate nuclear power plants in New York -- Fitzpatrick, Ginna and Nine Mile -- hold energy prices down. 

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.

Matt Champlin / Flickr

As world leaders look for ways to combat climate change in Paris, New York officials are working on their own plan for a green future in the state.

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.

When Entergy announced earlier this month that it will close the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant, they cited potential economic losses. Yet some New York officials are suggesting that wasn't the whole story.

"Placing our families and students in the cross hairs in the Indian Point debate is unacceptable," said Sean Bruno, the Mexico School District superintendent. He said Fitzpatrick is being used as leverage.

County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency

Entergy said it will close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant because it wasn't economically viable. Gov. Andrew Cuomo scolded that statement, saying there is much more in a company's "bottom line." As uncertainty about the plant's future grows, a new campaign to keep FitzPatrick open is putting a face on the issue.

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.

David Sommerstein / NCPR

 

Energy giant Entergy’s decision to close its nuclear plant near Oswego shocked the central New York community. 615 people will lose their jobs. State officials tried to get Entergy to change its mind, but the company announced Wednesday that talks have ended. The news also sent shock waves through New York’s electricity markets.

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. 

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) visited the home of Philadelphia brand cream cheese in Lowville Wednesday. While parent company Kraft-Heinz was in the midst of closing plants nationwide last week, the company recently it would hire 100 new workers at the plant.  Schumer told those already employed their jobs are secure.

Inside the Lowville cream cheese plant, the sweet heavy scent of cream is ever present.  Down a hallway, a  group of workers in blue uniforms and clear plastic caps spill out of a full room to hear from Schumer. 

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.

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