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A half dozen mishaps in 2015 is ample proof that we need to close Indian Point now


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For Immediate Release
December 6, 2015

Contact: Cliff Weathers, Communications Director
Mobile: 917-202-6854
Email: [email protected]

Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay says, “We’ve got to close Indian Point, before it closes us.”

Ossining, NY — Indian Point’s Reactor 2 was forced to shut down on Saturday, the latest in a string of mishaps at the nuclear power plant this year. The reactor was shut down after several control rods lost power.

Operators were forced to shut down the reactor at 5:30 p.m. As of yet, Entergy, the nuclear plant’s owner, has not disclosed the nature of the power trouble. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that Entergy reports no radiation release related to this mishap. New York’s Public Service Commission is beginning an investigation into the mishap.

This forced shutdown is just the latest in a number of disturbing mishaps at Indian Point in 2015:

  • In January, a water-system alarm failure nearly caused a shutdown of one of the plant’s reactors.
  • In May, insulation failure resulted in transformer explosion and fire that forced the shutdown of Reactor 3. The fire and its extinguishing spilled some 3,000 gallons of transformer oil into the Hudson River.
  • In June, a mylar balloon floated into a switchyard, causing an electrical disturbance resulting in the shutdown of Reactor 3.
  • In July, Reactor 3 was shut down after a water pump failure.

“Is anyone really surprised that a transformer blew up at Indian Point in May, one of its water pumps failed in July and several of its reactor control rods lost power yesterday? It’s time to admit reality: at 40, Indian Point is simply too dangerous, too old and near too many people. We’ve got to close Indian Point, before it closes us,” said Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay.

The Cuomo administration recently called for the closing of Indian Point. Director of State operations Jim Malatras wrote to members of the Nuclear Regulatory commission last month saying that the commission should “on an expedited basis, deny Entergy’s application for relicensing of the Indian Point Facilities.”

“Allowing Entergy to operate these facilities for another 20 years puts the lives of too many New Yorkers at risk and cannot be justified by Entergy’s present plan to address these defects,” Malatras continued. “Embrittled reactor pressure vessels and fatigued metals on key reactor components … are symptoms of an aging plant for which Entergy’s plans and past performance fall far short. Recently, unplanned shutdowns at the facility, for reasons ranging from transformer fires to unplanned replacement of parts in the reactor head, have plagued the plant.”

Riverkeeper’s Gallay concurs: “This is a critical moment for New York. We need to do everything we can to close Indian Point on an expedited basis. Its power can be replaced and it simply isn’t worth the growing risk it presents.”

DEC 15 Update: On December 14, an electrical disturbance at Indian Point caused the Indian Point 3 reactor to shut down. In response Andrew Cuomo said that because there had been a “number of recent unplanned outages” there will be “increased inspections and scrutiny” at the site. This is the sixth mishap at the aging nuclear facility.

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