New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is a vocal opponent of continued operation of the Entergy (NYSE:ETR) Indian Point nuclear reactors near New York City, so it should not come as a shock that Cuomo is concerned about a recently-discovered maintenance problem at Unit 2.
“This afternoon, the state learned that hundreds of faulty bolts were discovered within the reactor at the Indian Point Unit 2 Plant,” Cuomo said in a statement posted on his website. “This is the latest in a long series of incidents that raise deep concerns about the management, maintenance and equipment standards at this plant.”
“While there is no immediate danger to public health and safety, this troubling news further validates the State’s ongoing investigation into the operations of this aging power plant and our position that it should not be relicensed. New York State will continue to investigate every facet of the plant’s operations and safety preparedness while ensuring that these critical defects are addressed immediately,” Cuomo went on to say.
Entergy reported March 29 that during the ongoing refueling outage, inspections had turned up “issues” with about 11% of the reactor liner bolts at Unit 2. As a result, additional maintenance work is expected to extend the maintenance and refueling outage by several weeks.
Issues were identified on bolts on the face of the removable liner, not on bolts along the liner’s edges. Engineers identified missing bolts, and bars meant to hold them in place, and other degradation requiring replacement of the bolts. Each bolt, about two inches long and made of stainless steel, holds plate inserts together inside the reactor, Entergy said.
Indian Point Unit 2’s “Aging Management Program” — implemented in connection with license renewal — calls for an in-depth inspection of the reactor vessel every ten years. The first such inspection took place during a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage that began March 7, and used visual and where possible, ultrasonic inspections.
Indian Point Energy Center, in Buchanan, N.Y., is home to two operating nuclear power reactors, Units 2 and 3, which generate approximately 2,000 MW of electricity.
The nuclear units are located 25 miles outside of New York City. The Cuomo administration has opposed 20-year license renewals for the units.