Nuclear unit shuts down after leak found

Unit 2 at the 2,065 MW Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York was shut down Jan. 10 after workers discovered a leak from a pump that supplies cooling water to the reactor.

The four pumps are located inside the containment building. Officials with Entergy (NYSE: ETR) are repairing one of the pumps after slightly radioactive water was found leaking from it. Officials said in news reports that the pump normally leaks about 2 gallons per minute, but workers said the leak spiked to 5.5 gallons per minute on Jan. 10. Procedures require the plant to shut down when the level hits 5 gallons per minute.

Entergy said all of the water was contained in the pump and there was no release of radiation. The Westinghouse four-loop pressurized water reactor will return to service when work is completed. Unit 3 continues to operate at full power.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission was notified of the shutdown.

The licenses for both units are undergoing the process for a 20-year license extension. Unit 2’s license expires in 2013 while Unit 3 expires in 2015.

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