Comprehensive inspections completed during a planned outage at the Indian Point nuclear power plant show critical components at Unit 2 continue to perform safely and as intended, with maintenance required in one area before the plant can be restarted, Entergy Corp. announced today.
"Safety is always our first priority, and the hundreds of inspections performed over the last few weeks demonstrate these programs work as designed," said Larry Coyle, site vice president and Entergy's top official at Indian Point. "Safeguards and automatic detection equipment are in place to alert plant operators of impacts on safe operations."
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. Inspections of more than 2,000 bolts in the reactor's removable insert liner revealed issues with approximately 11 percent that require further analysis. 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.
The issues identified with the reactor vessel insert liner bolts did not have an impact on public health or safety and will be corrected prior to returning Indian Point Unit 2 to operation. With comprehensive inspections on the entire reactor vessel finished, once a full engineering assessment of the issue is also completed and corrective actions taken, the unit can safely operate in the period of extended operation. This work is expected to add cost and several weeks' duration to the refueling and maintenance outage.
Entergy has informed the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and other appropriate regulatory authorities of the issues with the bolts, in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements.
Hundreds of Inspections Performed During Refueling Outage
The inspections are part of Indian Point's comprehensive and expanded inspection program implemented in accordance with the plant's license renewal application, going beyond normal inspections performed during each refueling outage.
In all, the refueling and maintenance outage of Unit 2 involves testing and inspection of the reactor containment area, the reactor vessel, the control rod mechanism, coolant pump motors and steam generators. In addition, inspections were performed outside the containment area, on dozens of valves, turbine rotors, condensate storage tanks and other equipment. Equipment replacement includes some of the mechanisms for the control rods, pipes, heat exchangers, steam condensers and reactor coolant pump motors.
Engineers have conducted more than 350 inspections of critical equipment, using industry best practices to ensure that even the slightest variation in equipment was identified, analyzed, and if necessary, repaired.
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 2000 megawatts of electricity for homes, business and public facilities in New York City and Westchester County. Since acquiring Indian Point, Entergy has invested over $1 billion in plant equipment.
Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) 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 2.8 million utility customers inArkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $11.5 billion and more than 13,000 employees.