NY Nuke Fire Forces Shut Down

Monday, May 11, 2015 @ 12:05 PM gHale

A transformer fire at the Indian Point nuclear plant just north of New York City Saturday forced the shutdown of one reactor and then leaked oil into the Hudson River the following day.

When the transformer exploded, it released oil into a holding tank, which then overflowed, sending oil onto the ground and into the river.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was concerned about environmental damage. Cuomo visited the plant for a briefing on Sunday. The governor, who wants the plant shut down, said crews were working to contain and clean up the oil spill but it was not clear yet how much oil released.

The transformer explosion and fire at the nuclear power reactor 40 miles (65 km) north of New York City ended up quickly put out from the sprinkler system within the area of the transformer and from workers on site. The fire triggered the closure of the plant’s Unit 3 reactor, while the Unit 2 reactor continued to operate.

Entergy Corp (ETR.N), which runs the facility and is one of the largest U.S. nuclear power operators, said the plant was stable and there was no danger to the public or to employees.

“Anything that happens at this plant obviously raises concerns,” due to the proximity to the largest U.S. city, Cuomo said. “The transformer fire in and of itself was not dangerous.

Cuomo said emergency crews thought the fire was out but it reignited and firefighters had to put it out one more time.

The transformers are around 300-400 feet away from the reactor on the non-nuclear side of the facility.

The plant, which dates back to the 1960s, has around 1,000 employees. It is one of 99 nuclear power plants licensed to operate in the United States and which generate about 20 percent of U.S. electricity use, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s website.

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