Investment reinforces commitment to continued safe and reliable plant operations and economic, environmental and energy benefits through retirement in 2021
BUCHANAN, N.Y. – Control room operators shut down Entergy’s Indian Point Unit 3 nuclear power plant in Buchanan this morning to begin a nearly $100 million refueling and maintenance outage after 453 days of continuous operation. This work brings 1,000 additional workers and economic benefits to the region, and reinforces Entergy’s commitment to continued safe and reliable operations through the plant’s planned permanent shutdown in 2021.
Unit 3 remained online 96 percent of the time since its prior refueling and maintenance outage while generating more than 16.9 million megawatt hours of clean power and preventing the emissions of more than 7.6 million metric tons of carbon.
“Both Indian Point Unit 3 and Unit 2 continue to operate safely and reliably, and people can be confident in our commitment to maintaining outstanding performance,” said Tony Vitale, site vice president and Entergy’s top official at Indian Point. “Indian Point 3 recorded a reliable run of service in 2016, benefitting millions of New Yorkers with clean and safe energy. We are investing tens of millions of dollars during this refueling and maintenance outage on inspections, maintenance, and equipment upgrades to ensure the plant continues to operate safely and provide economic stimulus, grid reliability and environmental benefits until permanent shutdown in 2021.”
This is the second-to-last refueling outage at Unit 3 before shutting down permanently by April 30, 2021. Unit 2, which remains in service at full power and has been online for 250 continuous days, will conduct its final refueling and maintenance outage next spring before it shuts down permanently by April 30, 2020.
Entergy is investing nearly $100 million at Unit 3, including about $80 million on salaries and expenses for full-time and supplemental employees, to complete the refueling and other projects. About 1,000 additional skilled contract workers are supplementing the approximately 1,000 full-time Entergy employees at Indian Point, providing an additional economic boost to the surrounding communities. These contractors represent dozens of vendors from the community and across the country.
Workers are conducting comprehensive inspections and upgrades of plant equipment and systems, including specialized examination of bolts on a removable liner inside the reactor. Entergy committed to conducting these bolt inspections at Unit 3 two years ahead of schedule after engineers identified and replaced similar bolts on the removable liner inside Unit 2’s reactor last year.
Since purchasing the plants more than 15 years ago, Entergy has safely delivered hundreds of millions of megawatt hours of virtually emissions-free power to the Hudson Valley and New York City, while investing more than $1.3 billion in safety and reliability improvements. Under Entergy’s ownership, Indian Point has established an excellent safety record and ranks among the most reliable power plants in the state. Inspectors at the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with special expertise and training in nuclear power and strict licensing and operational guidelines, ranked the plant in the agency’s top regulatory column for safety following more than 6,000 hours of inspections in 2016.
On January 9 of this year, as part of a settlement with New York State, Entergy announced its plan for the early and orderly shutdown of the two units. In exchange, New York State agreed to drop its legal challenges and support renewal of the operating licenses for Indian Point. Entergy will continue to invest in the plant and its employees to maintain a strong record of safety and reliability through the final four years of operation.
About Indian Point and Entergy
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 megawatts of electricity for homes, business and public facilities in New York City and Westchester County. Indian Point Unit 2 began commercial operation in 1974 and Unit 3 in 1976. Entergy purchased Unit 3 in 2000 from the New York Power Authority and Unit 2 -- along with the permanently closed Unit 1 -- in 2001 from Consolidated Edison.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $10.8 billion and more than 13,000 employees.