Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant

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.

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.

NYS Dept of Labor / Facebook

In the midst of a slew of bad job news in Upstate New York -- the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant potentially closing in Oswego County, Alcoa leaving Massena -- the New York State Labor Department is trying to pair job seekers with companies that are hiring right now.
 

Two hundred businesses offering 5,000 jobs jammed the OnCenter in what New York State Labor Department officials are calling one of the biggest job fairs they’ve held in New York state. Department spokesman Cullen Burnell says the jobs run the gamut.

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. 

Senate Democrats / Flickr

Local, state, and federal officials are scrambling to figure out ways to stop Entergy from closing the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power plant in Oswego County. The company announced Monday that it will close down the unprofitable plant after the reactor runs out of fuel in late 2016 or early 2017. Among those looking to find ways to keep the plant on the grid, is U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, who intended to make an angry phone call to the CEO of Entergy. 

Entergy

Updated 12:45 p.m.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released the following statement on Entergy's decision to close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant:

"The closing of the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant will devastate the lives of more than 600 employees and their families. Good corporate citizenship must appreciate that there are many factors that count as the 'bottom line.' The State of New York will pursue every legal and regulatory avenue in an attempt to stop Entergy's actions and its callous disregard for their skilled and loyal workforce."

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Some central New York environmentalists don’t want New York state to come to the rescue of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego. More than 600 people have signed a petition calling for the plant to be shut down.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The decision on the future of the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Plant in Oswego County is expected this week. In the meantime, elected leaders at the local, state and federal level are engaged in talks with the plant's owner Entergy on how to keep the doors open. It's currently battling falling energy prices.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Rep. John Katko (R-NY) spoke at a rally to save the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant on Monday. The owners of the plant said they may have to close it next year because it is no longer profitable with the low price of electricity. Katko said nuclear energy is clean energy and with new federal carbon emission standards, New York state can't afford to lose nuclear power plants.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Elected officials from the local, state and congressional level have organized a rally in support of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County. This comes after news that there is a possibility that it could close. Lower electricity prices are squeezing the profits from some nuclear plants. 

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