Supreme Court to hear Entergy appeal

Posted: Updated:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday will take up an Entergy Corp. appeal over how Indian Point uses water from the Hudson River for cooling.

Entergy is appealing a lower court ruling that could force the company to build expensive cooling towers at the Buchanan nuclear power plant.

Like many other power plants, Indian Point uses river water to cool the non-nuclear side of the facility. But environmentalists contend pulling massive amounts of water out of the Hudson kills fish and hurts the river's ecosystem.

Right now, once the water cools the non-radioactive parts of the plant, it is returned to the river. For several years, the environmental group Riverkeeper has been fighting to get cooling towers built so the water can be reused.

Entergy and the Environmental Protection Agency contend the approximately $1 billion price tag to build the towers is too expensive for the environmental benefits. But a lower federal court has ruled that the EPA's cost-benefit analysis violates the law.

While it is Entergy that's appealing, the suit is not specifically about Indian Point, or nuclear power, and the Supreme Court's decision is expected to have a wide-ranging effect on how electricity is produced.

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