Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant
The Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant was a completed $6 billion General Electric nuclear boiling water reactor located adjacent to the Wading River in East Shoreham, New York, that was closed by protests in 1989 without generating any commercial electrical power beyond the small amount of power that was generated during low power testing.

The plant was conceived by the Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) and was built between 1973 and 1984. Its location on Long Island Sound " near the mouth of the small stream that forms the border between Brookhaven and Riverhead towns " was largely rural at the time (although within 60 miles of Manhattan). The plant was to be situated near the path of airplanes landing at MacArthur Airport and the New Haven Airport. It was also to be built in an area that the U.S. Air Force had designated as "high hazard" due to its proximity to the Calverton Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant, where Grumman military fighter planes were tested, which was five miles (8 km) from the Shoreham site. The Lloyd Harbor Study Group were concerned that a plane could crash into the plant. The Sierra Club, the Audubon Society and environmentalist Barry Commoner opposed the issuance of a construction permit for the Shoreham plant. The plant drew increasingly intense opposition after the 1979 Three Mile Island accident and the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, resulting in delays and cost increases before New York Governor Mario Cuomo pulled the plug in a state takeover of the plant. The state would ultimately take over LILCO also. After completion, Shoreham received a low power license and underwent low power testing, but never produced any commercial electric power beyond the small amount of power that was generated during low power testing (5% - 18 MW - about one day in total). The plant was deemed safe by, and received its Full Power Operating License from, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Even though New York Governor Mario Cuomo's representatives did not sign the Emergency Evacuation Plan, a LILCO developed plan, using LILCO personnel, was in place and had been approved by the NRC on the basis that, in a real emergency, it was expected that state and county personnel would respond accordingly, and take over roles that the LILCO plan filled with LILCO personnel. On May 19, 1989, LILCO agreed not to operate the plant in a deal with the state under which most of the $6 billion cost of the unused plant was passed along to Long Island residents. The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), headed by Richard Kessel, was created in 1986 specifically to buy the plant from LILCO (which it did in 1992). The plant was fully decommissioned in 1994.


LILCO President John J. Tuohy announced plans for the plant on April 13, 1965 during a stockholder's meeting. The plant was to be the first commercial nuclear power plant on Long Island and initially had little formal opposition, as Brookhaven already had multiple research nuclear reactors at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, about 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Shoreham. LILCO purchased a 455- acre (1.84 km 2) site in an area which was sparsely populated at the time. They announced the plant would produce 540 megawatts, cost between $65 and $75 million and would be online in 1973. At the time, demand for electricity was increasing more than 10 percent per year on Long Island and the Atomic Energy Commission was strongly pushing all power companies to use nuclear power. In 1968, LILCO increased the size of the plant from 540 to 820 megawatts and announced plans to build two more reactors in Jamesport. Those reactors never got beyond the drawing board stage but this helped delay and increase the costs of the plant. In 1969, LILCO announced plans for a reactor at Lloyd Harbor in Huntington, New York " closer to Manhattan in a more densely populated area. Following resident opposition, the proposal was dropped in 1970, setting the stage for opposition to any nuclear power plant on Long Island.

Construction began in 1973 but cost overruns caused its estimated final cost to approach $2 billion by the late 1970s, due to low worker productivity and design changes ordered by the NRC. Organized crime was also accused of stirring problems with local labor unions, and it was target of a CBS 60 Minutes probe, which aired 24 March 1985.

Mounting protests
The first small anti-Shoreham demonstration took place in June 1976. On June 3, 1979, following the Three Mile Island accident, 15,000 protesters gathered in the largest demonstration in Long Island history. 600 were arrested as they scaled the plant's fences. LILCO's problems were compounded by NRC rules in the wake of Three Mile Island, requiring that operators of nuclear plants work out evacuation plans in cooperation with state and local governments. Politicians from local entities joined the opposition, saying their communities could not be evacuated quickly in case of an accident, as any land evacuation off the island would involve traveling at least 60 miles (97 km) back through New York City to reach its bridges. Among the groups joining the chorus for closing the plant were Lloyd Harbor Study Group, the Farm Bureau, The Long Island Safe Energy Coalition and its newsletter Chain Reaction, Safe'n Sound with its Sound Times newspaper, the S.H.A.D. Alliance (modeled on New Hampshire's Clamshell Alliance), and the Shoreham Opponents Coalition.

On February 17, 1983, the Suffolk County Legislature announced with a 15-1 vote that the county could not be safely evacuated. Newly elected governor of New York, Mario Cuomo, ordered state officials not to approve any LILCO-sponsored evacuation plan. The plant was completed in 1984. In 1985 LILCO received federal permission for low-power 5 percent tests. Confidence in LILCO declined in 1985 when it took nearly two weeks to restore power to all of the island following Hurricane Gloria. Between 1985 and 1989, as local communities continued to refuse to sign the necessary evacuation plan, LILCO proposed asking the U.S. Congress to approve a law for the evacuation " a move which went nowhere. On February 28, 1989, Cuomo and LILCO announced a plan to decommission the plant, which involved the state taking over the plant and then attaching a 3 percent surcharge to Long Island electric bills for 30 years to pay off the $6 billion price tag.

It cost $186 million to decommission the reactor, with the radioactive materials license ending in May 1995. The low-pressure turbine rotors are currently in use at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station. LILCO paid Philadelphia Electric Company $50 million to take its fuel to the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant. The debacle led to the state takeover of LILCO itself in 1998 as it became the Long Island Power Authority. In August 2002 a 100 MW Gas Turbine Power Plant was commissioned on the Shoreham site utilizing the existing switchgear that was in place for the decommissioned nuclear facility. This facility utilizes two 42 MW GE LM6000PC Jet Engine Generators equipped with Sprint injection (can increase capacity to 50 MW each) and Spray Mist Evaporative Cooling (SMEC). The electric transmission infrastructure has remained, connecting it to the Long Island electric grid. In 2002 the Cross Sound Cable, a submarine power cable capable of transmitting 330 MW, was laid from the Shoreham plant across Long Island Sound to New Haven, Connecticut. During the Northeast Blackout of 2003 the cable was used to ease the effects of the blackout on Long Island. After extended negotiations with Connecticut the cable was put into permanent use. In 2005, two 100-foot (30 m)-high wind turbines with 25-foot (7.6 m) blades were erected at the plant and attached to the electric grid, generating 50 kilowatts each (0.01% of the power of the proposed nuclear plant).