Control room operators shut down the Entergy (NYSE:ETR) Indian Point Unit 2 nuclear generating facility early March 7 to begin a planned refueling outage after a two-year run that set a record for power generation.
Unit 2 was online 99.6% of the time since returning to service from its prior refueling outage in March 2014. It also set a record for continuous days of operation, at 626, and a record for the amount of electricity generated, at 17.8 million megawatt hours (MWh), Entergy said in a news release.
“Indian Point Unit 2 recorded a remarkably reliable run of service, benefitting millions of New Yorkers with clean, safe energy,” said Larry Coyle, site vice president and Entergy’s top official at Indian Point. We are investing an enormous amount of money during this refueling and maintenance outage to refresh and renew the plant over the next month while it is shut down,” Coyle added.
In addition to the hundreds of inspections planned over the next few weeks, Indian Point will complete its commitment to install post-Fukushima safety enhancements. Equipment additions include portable electrical generators, pumps, cables and other equipment.
About 1,000 additional skilled contract workers will supplement the regular 1,000 Energy employees during the refueling outage, Entergy said.
Indian Point’s other operating unit, Unit 3, continues in service at full power and has been online for 90 straight days.
Indian Point Energy Center, in Buchanan, N.Y., is home to two operating nuclear power plants, Unit 2 and Unit 3, which generate approximately 2,000 of electricity for homes, business and public facilities in New York City and Westchester County.
But the refueling outage comes as a time of increasing scrutiny by states agencies in New York. At the request of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), state agencies plan their own safety review of the Indian Point units, which are located near New York City.
Until this state review of Indian Point is completed, the agencies have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to immediately halt construction of the Spectra Energy (NYSE:SE) Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) natural gas project near Indian Point.
Cuomo is a vocal critic of license renewal for the two nuclear power units. The state also cites a number of recent problems reported from the Indian Point facility, the latest being a tritium leak.