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Photo credit to Inhabitat New York City. Photo of Indian Point Nuclear Site on the Hudson River. Indian Point has been leaking radioactive material into the Hudson for several months and has had many operating issues in recent years. Located 24 miles north of New York City.

The struggle for natural gas and oil continue each day. While we deplete our oil resources we look for new ways of finding oil such as fracking and importing more oil, but this oil flow is slowly, but surely drying up too. Our nation is looking to divest our energy production in other facets such as green energy, wind, water and solar and even nuclear energy, that uses uranium rods as a fuel source.

Nuclear energy has been used for decades and over that time we have seen many catastrophes and accidents such as Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant, in Pennsylvania or Fukushima Nagasaki Power Plant explosions in Japan, where residents are still threatened by toxic pollution and mass amounts of radiation. Not to mention, possibly the most famous disaster, Chernobyl Nuclear Site which is still abandoned and must be constantly monitored. Regardless of these disasters governments around the world claim nuclear is still very safe and good option to divest money away from natural gas.

In the US many states have chosen to renew expiring nuclear plant licenses and will continue to operate under federal standards. However, some are choosing to close their doors. In New Jersey, Oyster Creek Nuclear Facility has faced several difficulties and has determined the cost of updating safety standards and fixing operating issues would be more costly than just to end their licenses and permits early and close by 2019. In other states such as New York more and more nuclear power sites are feeling the same pressures. Exelon said the R. E. Ginna and Nine Mile Point nuclear plants will need to be shut down unless it receives financial help from NY state.  Entergy, another nuclear power company, said that it would close the James A. FitzPatrick plant, which neighbors Nine Mile Point on the shore of Lake Ontario in Oswego County, by early next year. The costs are too high to remain open, but could cost the state and nation more if an accident happens or operating standards cannot be met. 

The subsidies needed to keep these pants open will be immense and large in monetary value as well as impact. If these sites were to close the state will need to bring more energy from oil, coal and natural gas energy. Thus adding to the release of carbon emissions and pollution. Cuomo is all for these subsidies and bailouts in order to keep our energy consumption of oil and gas low. He even praised this work saying, “This Clean Energy Standard shows you can generate the power necessary for supporting the modern economy while combating climate change.”

So, the question stands, is nuclear power sucking America dry or is it filling our pockets with energy? You be the judge.

To find out more about current subsidies for New York nuclear plants click here: and to stay up to date with more environmental justice issues make sure to continue reading Backyard Talk- CHEJ’s Blog.