NY Nuke Restarts

Monday, December 21, 2015 @ 05:12 PM gHale

Indian Point’s Unit 3 reactor resumed operation Thursday morning, company officials said.

The unit, one of two reactors at the Buchanan, NY, nuclear power plant, shut down last Monday night after its main power generator sensed an electrical disturbance in transmission lines which connect the plant to the external power grid. There was no release of radioactivity because of the incident.

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Workers replaced several electrical insulators on a high-voltage transmission line before returning Unit 3 to service, said Jerry Nappi, spokesman for Indian Point owner Entergy.

Engineers will examine the insulators removed from the transmission lines to help determine the cause of the issue that led the reactor to automatically shut down, Nappi said.

The shutdown came days after the Unit 2 reactor’s three-day shutdown caused by a tripped circuit breaker.

Because of the number of recent unplanned shutdowns, Unit 3 would require increased oversight by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, although the determination won’t be made until early next year, said NRC Spokesman, Neil Sheehan.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday ordered a broad state investigation into the Indian Point Energy Center’s operations, raising concerns about a series of unplanned shutdowns in recent years.

Both of the plant’s reactors are now operating past the end of their original 40-year licensing period. Entergy is seeking to relicense their operations, while Cuomo and others are pushing to shut down the plant.