BUCHANAN, N.Y. — The Indian Point Energy Center temporarily shuttered one of its nuclear power plants Friday to complete weld repairs after a pipe began leaking Hudson River water, officials with the plant said.
A pipe at Unit 2, one of two plants operated by Indian Point, was leaking a “small amount” of Hudson River water, estimated to be about one drop every 5 seconds, officials said.
“There is no ongoing leak and there was no challenge to safety, however the plant needs to be shut down for weld repairs to be completed, in accordance with NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) regulations,” according to a news release from Entergy, which owns Indian Point.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement about the closure on Friday:
“The unexpected shutdown of the reactor at Indian Point 2 because of a weld leak is just the latest example of the repeated and continuing problems at the plant. In the last year alone, there has been unprecedented degradation of Indian Point Unit 2 baffle-former bolts, groundwater contamination, and increased NRC oversight at Unit 3 due to numerous unplanned shutdowns. This is yet another sign that the aging and wearing away of important components at the facility are having a direct and unacceptable impact on safety, and is further proof that the plant is not a reliable generation resource.”
The closure comes after a planned outage at Unit 2 was extended in March after inspectors discovered more than 200 bolts needed further analysis, and some on the reactor’s inner liner were missing, the Associated Press reported at the time.
The reactor was opened June 16, despite objections from lawmakers and environmental groups, lohud.com reports.
It is not known when the weld repairs will be complete and the plant will reopen.
While the plant is closed for repairs, Con Edison is also expected to test a breaker in their switchyard at the plant.
The testing is unrelated to the link, and will take place because the breaker can only be tested when electricity at Unit 2 is not being sent to the switchyard, officials said.
“By coordinating with Entergy, Con Edison workers can safely test this breaker while Indian Point 2 is shut down, thus improving electrical reliability for the area,” said Brian Horton, vice president of System Operation for Con Edison.