NY Nuke Investigating Fire, Leak

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 @ 01:05 PM gHale


There seems to be a discrepancy in the amount of transformer oil that leaked into the Hudson River after a transformer blast at the Indian Point Unit 3 reactor May 9.

On one hand, estimates from the U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are about 3,000 gallons of dielectric fluid from the explosion at Indian Point Unit 3 entered the Hudson River, Entergy officials said.

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On the other hand, visual observations in the nuclear power plant’s discharge canal and the Hudson River have not indicated significant quantities of transformer oil, they said in a statement May 22.

Dielectric fluid is a clear, light mineral oil that acts as an electrical insulator and coolant inside transformers when they are operational. The oil in the failed transformer contained no PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).

Mitigation efforts continue under the direction of the Coast Guard and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

The following is the company’s statement:

“Entergy said its personnel continue working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to investigate and mitigate the environmental impact of dielectric fluid on the river following the May 9 transformer failure at Indian Point Unit 3.

“Entergy established a telephone hotline and email this week for members of the public to share information about sightings of transformer dielectric fluid. Potential sightings of the fluid can be reported to 1-800-472-6372 or sent to environment@safesecurevital.com.

“Members of the public are asked to provide their name, phone number, the location of the sighting, the date and time at which they first saw it, and any other information that will help us locate any potential oil sheen.

“Entergy will investigate reported sightings with its environmental response personnel.

“Preliminary estimates by the U.S. Coast Guard, based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, indicate that about 3,000 gallons of dielectric fluid from a transformer that failed at Indian Point Unit 3 have entered the Hudson River, Entergy announced today.

“The failed transformer held approximately 24,000 gallons of dielectric fluid, which acts as an electrical insulator and coolant inside transformers when they are operational.

“Visual observations in the discharge canal and the Hudson River have not indicated significant quantities of transformer oil. The transformer oil from the failed transformer did not contain PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). Further investigation and aggressive recovery efforts at the site will continue.

“Environmental personnel have conducted assessments of approximately 25 locations based on Entergy, Coast Guard and NYSDEC observations regarding potential oil sheens in the Hudson River and have implemented the appropriate mitigation efforts at their direction at a handful of those sites.

“Entergy, which owns the plant, continues to investigate the cause of the transformer failure and intends to announce its preliminary understanding on the cause of the transformer failure by the end of June.

“In the meantime, engineers are working diligently to restore Indian Point unit 3 to continued safe, reliable operations and are in the process of installing a replacement transformer. Unit 2 continues to operate at full power and has been online for 430 continuous days.”



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