10 Jan (NucNet): The two operating nuclear units at the Indian Point nuclear power station in Buchanan, New York state, will close in 2020-2021 following an agreement under which New York state and activist group Riverkeeper have agreed to drop legal challenges and support the renewal of both operating licences for the facility. Indian Point-2 will shut down by 30 April 2020 and Indian Point- 3 by 30 April 2021. Entergy said key considerations in its decision to shut down the two pressurised water reactor units ahead of schedule include sustained low wholesale energy prices that have reduced revenues, as well as increased operating costs. “In addition, we foresee continuing costs for licence renewal beyond $200m [€188m],” said Bill Mohl, president of Entergy Wholesale Commodities. Mr Mohl said record low gas prices have driven down power prices by about 45%, or $36 per MWh, over the last 10 years, to a record low of $28 per MWh. “A $10 per MWh drop in power prices reduces annual revenues by approximately $160m for nuclear power plants such as Indian Point,” he said. Entergy said terms of the shutdown include an agreement by New York state and Riverkeeper, which has been campaigning for decades to shut the station because of “health and environmental concerns”, to withdraw a legal challenge to licence renewal for the units. Entergy will ask the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to shorten the term of a renewed licence for Unit 2 from 2033 to 2024 and for Unit 3 from 2035 to 2025. Entergy filed a licence renewal application for both Indian Point units in April 2007. Under the agreement, Entergy will continue to pursue the licence renewal, unopposed by the state, for the remaining operating years. Indian Point-2, a 1,020-MW PWR, began commercial operation in 1974 and Indian Point-3, a 1,040-MW PWR, in 1976. Indian Point-1, a 257-MW PWR, began commercial operation in 1962 and was permanently shut down in 1974.