Unplanned Shutdown for NY Nuke

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 @ 10:12 AM gHale

An electrical disturbance at New York’s Indian Point nuclear power plant Monday caused one of its reactors to shut down, Entergy officials said.

Entergy, which runs the plant around 30 miles north of New York City in Buchanan, NY, said no radioactivity released and there was no threat to the public or staff at the site.

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Indian Point’s Unit 3 reactor automatically shut down “safely, as designed” at around 7 p.m. Monday, Entergy said.

New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo said because there had been a “number of recent unplanned outages” at Indian Point, regulations meant it would result in “increased inspections and scrutiny” at the site.

“A thorough investigation of this shutdown is underway and we will make sure the safety of New Yorkers is not compromised,” he said.

In May, a transformer exploded at Indian Point causing a large cloud of smoke and alarms that were audible across the river but no injuries.

Entergy said initial investigations showed that Monday’s incident ended up caused by an electrical disturbance “related to a high voltage transmission line that carries electricity from Unit 3 to an offsite electrical switch yard.”

Indian Point is home to two reactors — Unit 3 and Unit 2 — which usually generate 2,000 megawatts of electricity for homes and businesses across New York City and Westchester County.

The unplanned shutdown is ironic because, Unit 3’s 40-year license to operate expired last Saturday. However, Entergy gained Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approval to continue operating.

The NRC indicated this new action in its November statement about its inspection of Indian Point.

“In conjunction with Indian Point Unit 3 soon entering the Period of Extended Operations, we have completed inspections in accordance with our Reactor Oversight Process to determine whether Entergy has appropriately carried out license renewal commitments at Indian Point Unit 3,” the NRC said.