Agriculture, Central New York, Environment

FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant is Officially Closing

By Nina Kapur SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) –The FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba, NY is officially closing. Early Monday morning Entergy Corporation made the announcement that the plant will be closing in late 2016 or early 2017 when the reactor runs out of fuel. Entergy Corp. said its decision to close the plant is based on low revenue from the facility combined with the expensive costs to keep it running.

Although nuclear energy is environmentally friendly, it is a high cost energy source. Since the energy is very expensive to sustain, the power plant is very expensive to keep refueled and running.

“Overall it’s a bad day for the economy of the county and the city and also for the families that live here,” Mayor Thomas Gillen of Oswego says.

Shortly after the announcment was made this morning, the President of Entergy Wholesale Commodities broke the news to the employees. More then 600 employees will be laid off in late 2016 when the reactor runs out of fuel and the plant closes. The power plant has been operating in Scriba since 1975 when it began generating electricity.

Mayor Gillen believes the closing of the power plant will have a huge impact on the community… not just the economy.

Mayor Gillen says the county is actively trying to attract businesses to the region to open up more jobs. He believes that since Oswego County is between the Lakes and colleges, it has the perfect ingredients to create new jobs and new opportunities for developers. Mayor Gillen hopes to see former plant employees remain in the community but knows many of them will have to relocate to find jobs.

“That’s the saddest thing,” says Mayor Gillen. “These people have worked very hard, and they’ve established, they’ve bought homes, they have children here and all of a sudden that has been turned upside down. That’s a very traumatic experience for everybody.”

Mayor Gillen hopes the FitzPatrick Power Plant will do its part to help former employees get new jobs… and even hire recruiters to help. He says it’s important to focus on the positives. Although the Power Plant’s lifecycle is coming to an end, this gives more opportunities the chance to present themselves and take over the plant space.