Despite two attempts at negotiations with New York state, Entergy said those talks were unsuccessful and are now over. The company will close the James A. Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant at the end of its current fuel cycle in about a year.
In a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Wednesday afternoon, Entergy said it is moving forward with plans to permanently cease plant operations. Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Pulaski) was one of the advocates who helped reopen talks between New York officials and Entergy. He called the news devastating.
"The biggest concern here is the 615 jobs at Fitzpatrick and the good salaries that those jobs pay," Barclay said. "I just don't think we are going to be able to replace them here in central New York - particularly at that salary."
Half of those employees will be laid off once the plant shuts down. Then, another half will be cut 12-18 months as it transitions to the decommissioning process. NRC spokeswoman Diane Screnci said the commission will continue monitoring the plant to ensure it operates safely.
"Workers may be looking for other jobs," Screnci said. "There are some requirements for the number of security jobs you have on site and there are also requirements for the number of licensed operators that you need to have."
But, Barclay said he isn't done yet. He said he will explore regulatory means to stop the closure and work to court other power companies who he hopes may be interested in buying Fitzpatrick.