FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant to Halt Production in 2016 or 2017

Neil Sheehan
Public Affairs Officer
Region I

The James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant has become the latest U.S. commercial power reactor to announce plans to cease operations by the end of the decade. Situated on Lake Ontario, the Scriba (Oswego County), N.Y., facility will permanently shut down either in late 2016 or early 2017, its owner, Entergy, said Monday.

fitzAs was the case with other plants that have previously disclosed shutdown plans, poor economics fostered by an abundance of low-cost natural gas was cited by the plant owner as a primary driver in the decision-making.

The NRC does not have a role in decisions made by plant owners on continued operations based on economics and other factors.

FitzPatrick, a roughly 840-megawatt boiling water reactor that came online in July 1975, joins these plants that will be closing in coming years: Pilgrim, in Plymouth, Mass., by June 1, 2019, and Oyster Creek, in Lacey Township, N.J., by Dec. 31, 2019.

The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, in Vernon, Vt., generated electricity for the last time in December of 2014. Entergy also owns Pilgrim and Vermont Yankee while Exelon owns Oyster Creek.

By contrast, an operating license was just granted last month to Watts Bar 2.

The NRC will continue to provide rigorous regulatory oversight of the FitzPatric facility. Our inspections will be focused on ensuring plant safety and security for the remainder of its operational life.

That oversight will include the ongoing presence of two NRC Resident Inspectors based at FitzPatrick on a full-time basis until the reactor is removed from service.

More information regarding the agency’s nuclear power plant oversight activities can be found on the NRC’s website.