Entergy (NYSE:ETR) said March 25 that it was returning the Indian Point 3 nuclear facility to full service after a 23-day refueling outage that included $50m worth of upgrades to the plant.
“Indian Point has operated safely for more than 40 years, and because of all the enhancements made over the years – including backups to backups for fuel cooling – the plant is safer today than ever,” said Site Vice President Larry Coyle, the top Entergy official at Indian Point. “The hundreds of inspections performed during this refueling help ensure it will operate safely well into the future,” Coyle said.
More than 2,000 employees, including 1,000 extra contract workers, performed hundreds of activities which can be done only while the unit in Buchanan, N.Y., is shut down.
The major activities included the overhaul and inspection of one of three low-pressure turbines and one of two main boiler feed pumps, the replacement of one of four reactor coolant pump motors, the testing and inspection of the unit 3 reactor containment area for continued reliability and durability, and the removal and replacement of fuel into and out of Unit 3, Entergy said.
Workers also conducted more than 1,000 additional activities, including the maintenance and inspection of dozens of air and motor-operated valves, federally-mandated post-Fukushima enhancements and modifications, and other maintenance, replacements, upgrades and inspections on plant components.
Unit 3 was online generating electricity more than 99 percent of the time since it returned to service from its previous refueling outage, in April 2013. Indian Point’s other operating unit, Unit 2, continues in service at full power.
Indian Point Units 2 and 3 together generate about 2,000 MW supply more than 25% of power used annually by homes, business and public facilities in New York City and Westchester County.
Indian Point Units 2 and 3 continue to be engaged in a protracted relicensing case before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).