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New York policymakers thaw on nuclear energy

Gov. Kathy Hochul has cracked the door open to the potential for new, small nuclear power plants as a way for the state to try to meet its ambitious climate goals. The prospect was once dismissed by top officials and carries a whiff of irony after former Gov. Andrew Cuomo shuttered the state’s second-largest nuclear plant, Indian Point in Westchester County, in 2021. But as the state’s far-reaching zero emissions electricity goal by 2040 looms, there’s more openness to the idea.

Hochul asked about the prospect for small, new nuclear reactors to contribute to the state’s climate goals at a private dinner with environmentalists April 29, according to two attendees who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the private conversations. It’s not the first time that her administration has raised the idea. One of her top aides suggested as much earlier this year. “I would venture to say that there are probably communities around the state that may have infrastructure that is mothballed or retired power plants, fossil power plants, that have transmission infrastructure that may welcome something like new nuclear in their community,” John O’Leary, Hochul’s deputy secretary for energy, said at an energy policy event in January this year in response to a question about the possibility.

Source: Politico