News > News > Stop Polluters > Power Plant Cases > Indian Point > Indian Point 2 crippled by radiation-damaged bolts inside reactor

Indian Point 2 crippled by radiation-damaged bolts inside reactor

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Contact: Cliff Weathers, Communications Director
914-478-4501, ext. 239; [email protected]

Buchanan, NY — An alarming number of essential bolts inside the reactor core of Indian Point Unit 2 are impaired, degraded enough to necessitate that the troubled reactor remain closed until a robotic repair unit can assess the extent of the damage.

Between 200 and 300 “core former” bolts show degradation, just the latest in a spate of worrisome incidents that raises more doubt about the reliability of the aging nuclear facility and its management. Reactor 2 and Reactor 3 — both more than 40 years old — operate with expired licenses while the Nuclear Regulatory Commission decides whether to relicense them for another 20 years.

This news marks the eleventh time in a year that the operations of Indian Point’s reactors have been compromised, raising serious new concerns regarding the safety of Indian Point.

“This unprecedentedly serious damage right at the core of Indian Point reactor 2 makes it even harder for metro NY area residents to ignore the unfathomable risks that this nuclear plant poses to us every day,” says Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay.

“There’s no putting a brave face on this for Entergy. The core of Reactor 2 is damaged and Reactor 3’s core — virtually identical in age and operating history — could be as well. So this announcement calls into question the soundness of both reactors. While Reactor 2 is closed for further inspection and repair, we call for Reactor 3 to also close for the health and welfare of the 20 million people who live and work within the zone of potential greatest damage.”

Gallay continues: “The public also demands to know why this degradation was not discovered during prior inspections and whether the pieces of missing bolts in Unit Reactor 2 can be found and recovered. If not, we need assurances that these loose pieces cannot cause damage to critical components such as fuel rods, valves, and control rods inside the reactor.”

Only a few weeks ago, radioactive tritium leaked into the groundwater at Indian Point. At one monitoring well, a 65,000 percent increase in tritium was initially recorded, and a few days later those elevated levels shot up by another 80 percent.

Prior to that, there were several other worrisome incidents including a May 2015 transformer explosion, fire, and subsequent transformer oil spill.

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