Buchanan -- Entergy's Indian Point Unit 3 nuclear power plant returned to service yesterday generating electricity, after a sixteen-day shutdown to replace a failed main electrical transformer. The unit had safely and automatically shut down when the transformer failed on May 9.
Indian Point Unit 2 continues to operate at full power and has been online for 434 continuous days. It was unaffected by the shutdown at unit 3.
"I want to thank our entire Indian Point team for their professionalism and dedication to safe operations that enabled unit 3 to safely shut down as expected following the transformer failure and then returned the plant to service," said Larry Coyle, the Site Vice President and top Entergy official at Indian Point. "We are working with industry experts to understand the cause of this transformer failure in order to help prevent a recurrence."
Entergy is also working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to investigate and mitigate the environmental impact of a clear, light mineral oil known as dielectric fluid on the Hudson River that leaked from the failed transformer.
Preliminary estimates by the Coast Guard, based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, indicate that about 3,000 gallons of dielectric fluid entered the river. The failed transformer held approximately 24,000 gallons of dielectric fluid, which acts as an electrical insulator and coolant inside transformers.
Entergy personnel have conducted assessments of approximately 25 locations based on observations regarding potential oil sheens in the Hudson River, implementing the appropriate mitigation efforts at the direction of the Coast Guard and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation at a handful of those sites. Environmental experts determined no action was needed at the other approximately 20 locations. Members of the public can report sightings of transformer dielectric fluid to Entergy at 1-800-472-6372 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Entergy will then investigate.
Visual observations in the plant's discharge canal and the Hudson River still have not indicated significant quantities of transformer oil, which did not contain PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).
Entergy, which owns the plant, intends to announce its preliminary understanding on the cause of the transformer failure by the end of June.
More information on Entergy's response to the transformer failure, along with photos of the transformer yard clean-up and transformer replacement, is available at http://www.safesecurevital.com/transformer_update.
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 and supply about 25 percent of power used annually in New York City and Westchester County. 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, making it one of the nation's leading nuclear generators.