Cuomo Sends Investigators After Blackout Forces Shutdown Of Nuclear Reactor Near NYC

Almost 2 years after being fined for falsifying safety records, and 7 months after a transformer exploded at the Indian Point Nuclear Reactor (just 30 miles from midtown Manhattan), Entergy - the plant's operator - has 'safely' shutdown the Unit 2 reactor due to a major outage cut power  to several control rods. Despite the company's reports that no radioactivity was released to the environment, NY Governor Cuomo has sent investigators to the site to 'monitor' the situation.

As AP reports, officials say one of the Indian Point nuclear power plant's reactors in suburban New York has been shut down because several control rods lost power.

Plant owner Entergy says control room operators safely shut down the Indian Point 2 reactor around 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The reactor's designed to make a safe shutdown if the control rods lose electricity.

 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the company reports no radiation was released into the environment. State Department of Public Service workers are headed to the plant in Buchanan, about 30 miles north of midtown Manhattan.

 

The Indian Point 3 reactor is running. Together, the two reactors supply about one-quarter of the power used in New York City and Westchester County.

 

Indian Point 3 was shut down in July after a water pump problem.

But despite the company operating the site reports that there was no radioactivity released from the reactor Unit 2.

Statement from Governoir Cuomo:

 

"Earlier tonight, the Unit 2 reactor at the Indian Point Nuclear Facility was forced to shut down due to a reported power loss to several control rods. The company reports that there was no radioactivity released to the environment. I have directed the Department of Public Service to investigate and monitor the situation and a team is currently en route to Indian Point to begin its work."

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As a reminder, Indian Point is just 38 miles north of New York City, and produces some 25 percent of New York City’s and Westchester’s electricity. The combined power generated by the two units amounts to over 2000 megawatts. The facility employs some 1,600 people.

The two current reactors, Indian Point 2 and 3 (Indian Point 1 was shutdown in 1974) are four-loop Westinghouse pressurized water reactors both of similar design. Units 2 and 3 were completed in 1974 and 1976, respectively.

 

The plant has been a subject of controversy due to its proximity to NYC. Several environmental groups have been calling for Indian Point’s permanent shutdown for years. It also has a history of transformer accidents and various leaks, including a 2012 explosion in the main transformer that spilled oil into the river and caused Entergy to pay a fine of a $1.2 million.