Indian Point nuclear reactor shuts down again before the sixth seal

Indian Point nuclear reactor shut down — again

THOMAS C. ZAMBITO | ROCKLAND/WESTCHESTER JOURNAL NEWS | 2:58 pm EDT September 18, 2018

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Federal safety regulators are monitoring repairs

What will happen to Indian Point spent nuclear fuel rods? Thomas Zambito for lohud reports.

RICKY FLORES/FRANK BECERRA JR./LOHUD

Indian Point’s Unit 3 reactor was shut down Tuesday morning after a steam leak was discovered on the non-nuclear side of the building where it’s housed, federal safety regulators say.

The shutdown was unrelated to a water leak in a backup cooling system that led to a nine-day shutdown, which ended Monday.

Work to replace the fuel rods at Indian Point 3 as well as the replacement, refurbishment and testing of equipment is underway as part of routine maintenance of the nuclear reactor in Buchanan on Mar. 20, 2017.

RICKY FLORES/THE JOURNAL NEWS

Operators shut down Unit 3 around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday for a steam leak in the plant’s turbine building that was traced to piping on a water heater, said Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The NRC’s on-site inspectors are monitoring repairs.

“The plant responded as designed and our resident inspectors currently have no safety concerns with plant response or operator performance,” Sheehan said.

It’s unclear when the reactor will resume generating power.

The nine-day shutdown was prompted by the presence of boron – white powder residue formed when boric acid dries – in Unit 3’s safety injection system, which was evidence of a water leak. Boron is added to water to control reactivity in a nuclear reactor.

The safety injection system acts as a backup cooling system.

Unit 3 is slated to be shut down in 2021, one year after Indian Point’s other working reactor – Unit 2 – is powered down.

On Monday, the NRC said it had renewed licenses for both reactors.

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