Behind The Scenes At Indian Point
If you live in—or anywhere near—the county, you know Indian Point Energy Center. You’ve undoubtedly seen its cylindrical, domed reactors rising on the banks of the Hudson in stark contrast to the natural landscape enveloping them. Indian Point has been casting a dubious shadow ever since the three plants comprising the center (one has since been shut down) went online in the ’70s. Critics, who want Indian Point shut down, point to the security concerns it brings to the city (as it’s only 40 miles upstream) and the need for more environmentally friendly energy sources. Backers counter with its economic benefits (supplying more than 1,000 jobs and generating $1.3 billion of annual economic output to local counties, $1.6 billion statewide, and $2.5 billion across the United States), its efficiency (its operation prevented the emission of 8.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by nixing the need for coal-burning plants), and the $100 million it spent on security upgrades since 9/11. Oh, and that it supplies 10 percent of the state’s energy needs—generating 2,061 megawatts of around-the-clock electricity for New York homes—and delivers a quarter of all of Westchester and New York City’s energy.
Nonetheless, we wanted to see for ourselves what’s going on inside those domes. So, step inside with us, through the concentric layers of security (think airport security on steroids, with more and more pat-downs and detectors as you get closer), and take a guided tour of the Buchanan facility.