Indian Point (USA)

Map of Indian Point

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2 PWR units; 870 and 100 MW constructed by Westinghouse; grid connection in 1973 and 1976.

Facilities in Indian Point

plantreactor typconstruction startoperation startshut down
Indian Point-1PWR195619621974
Indian Point-2PWR19661973
Indian Point-3PWR19681976

At 11.43 am on 6 April 2007, the transformer that carries electricity from the main generator to the electrical grid failed and caught fire.

Entergy, which operates the 979 MWe pressurized water reactor, exited the 'unusual event' at 12.47 pm.

The fire was extinguished by the transformer’s deluge system and the plant’s fire brigade responded. There was no radiation release associated with the event and no impact on public health and safety. The reactor automatically shut down and is stable.

The incident was monitored by the Resident Inspectors and by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC's) Emergency Operations Center in Rockville (Maryland).

An 'unusual event', the lowest of the four levels of NRC’s emergency classification, was declared at the Buchanan facility in New York."


Steam generator tube rupture was initially estimated at greater than 285 litres/per minute. The reactor was manually tripped and all rods fully inserted into the core. The faulted steam generator was isolated. The licensee declared an Alert because of the large amount of water out of the reactor coolant system.

In 1975, the NRC was informed by Westinghouse that several Westinghouse plants had experienced steam generator tube degradation in the form of a reduction in tube diameter, later termed "tube denting." Indian Point -2 was one of the plants that suffered steam generator tube denting. It was noted at that time that dented tubes were susceptible to stress corrosion cracking.

These steam generator tubes were formed from Alloy 600, a corrosion-resistant high-nickel blend. 8 nuclear plants, including Indian Point -2, had Westinghouse Model 44 steam generators that used Alloy 600 material for tubing.. The reason these steam generator tubes have required repairs was corrosive products (typically magnetite and cooper) accumulating in and around the tube and tube support plates. These corrosive products cause tubes to dent, which can result in the tubes developing stress corrosion cracks.
The degradation problems particular to Westinghouse Model 44 steam generators resulted in seven plants replacing their steam generators. Indian Point -2 is the only plant with Westinghouse Model 44 steam generators that has not replaced its steam generators.

Plants Commercial Operation Dates Replacement Dates
Ginna 07/1970 06/1996
Point Beach 1 12/1970 03/1983
H.B. Robinson 03/1971 10/1984
Point Beach 2 10/1972 12/1996
Turkey Point 3 12/1972 04/1982
Turkey Point 4 09/1973 05/1983
Indian Point 2 2 08/1974 N/A
Indian Point 3 08/1976 06/1989

In August 1990, the NRC issued the Information Notice "Stress Corrosion Cracking in PWR Steam Generator Tubes" to holders of nuclear power plant operating licenses or those requesting construction permits for PWRs. The information notice was intended to inform licensees of problems involving stress corrosion cracking in PWR steam generator tubes. The IN stated that in light of available technology, reliable detection and sizing of stress corrosion cracking during inservice inspections posed a significant challenge.


New York Power Authority's (NYPA) Indian Point-3 is expected to come on line by next week, ending a three-year period during which the plant operated only about three months.
Indian Point-3, a 1,013-MW PWR, is one of NCR's watch list plants. It shut down in 1993. An attempted return to service in July 1995 lasted only two months before the unit shut again. NYPA made another attempted restart in September 1995, but shut down less than a month later in October and has been down since.
An attempted restart last week was foiled by vibration in an auxiliary feedwater pump and minor leakage in a charging pump line. The unit was expected to start heat-up today (March 21) and be on line in a few days, a NYPA spokesman said.


Indian Point-3 operated only about two months last year following a 2,5-year outage. It went back down in September. The restart is set for February 5.


Indian Point-3 woes continue. Preparations for another restart attempt at New York Power Authority's (NYPA) Indian Point-3 went awry, again, on December 2 when a relief valve on the component cooling water (CCW) side of RHR heat exchanger inside containment was found leaking. A CCW pump auto-started and caused a pressure surge that momentarily lifted the relief valve. The valve did not reseat properly and discharged 5700 liters of water over a 16-hour period before it was discovered. Corrective actions to prevent this problem, implemented less than two years ago during the unit's 2.5-year shutdown, were not successful. NYPA is investigating further solutions to the problem as well as why operators did not detect the leak earlier. The reactor heat-up was halted at 110°C.


At 2:10 p.m., an unplanned radiological liquid discharge occurred through the Indian Point 2 discharge canal into the Hudson River. The liquid release was approximately 9000 liters with a total radiological content of 150 GBq.
Overflow of an uncontaminated water tank, due to a malfunction of a valve that lasted for 15 minutes until corrected by plant personnelectrical
The tank overflow which was uncontaminated water, went into the site's storm drain system and some of the water entered the Unit -1 curtain drain system, which is currently contaminated.
Through a series of drainage pathways, the water was discharged through the site's discharge canal. The initially uncontaminated water became contaminated as it flowed through this path. The release occurred for a period of 77 minutes.

The licensee obtained and analyzed water samples taken during the discharge and performed an after-the-fact discharge permit. The licensee estimates that 9100 liters of water were discharged to the canal with a total release of 9250 MBq, with Cobalt-60 and
Cesium-137 as the primary contributors. The release was well below the limits.


About 9% of the 3800 tubes per SG are already plugged; preliminary analysis of the unit's 4 SG showed much more crack indications. If all the tubes had been plugged the unit would have been close to the 25% maximum plugging limit.


Refuelling outage: full chemical decontamination of RCS. Preparation for the units next 20 years of operation - 10-year vessel inspection and installation of the last 3 new river water condensers.


Shutdown due to a low oil pressure reading in the TG control system - after continuous operation of 616 days ( world record for LWR).


Shutdown to search for a metal object that operators believed was rumbling inside the primary side in one of the unit's 4 SG - there was no damage apparant to the SG.


Repair outage until May 1995.


Orifice plates in the HPCI system were improperly installed; could cause pump runout and damage to the pumps. Cond. existed since initial operation


Common mode failure of EDG´s was discovered. Field flashing water jacket pressure switch contacts are welding closed which causes the field flash fuses to blow shortly after the EDG is shut down. Condition existed since initial operation


2 out of 3 EDGs inoperable: one undergoing modification, another became inoperable when the method used to refill the jacket water tank resulted in high generator currents (with the EDGs shutdown) and blown control power fuses.


Error in the calibration of the refuelling storage tank level transmitters could have resulted in a RWST volume 22800 liters below the allowed minimum.


2 out of 3 EDGs inoperable for 56 hours (power 100%).


Steam damage to redundant trains of service water system cables.


Air line to heater drain pumps broke causing turbine runback and scram.


Potential common mode failure of ESW system.


Steam generator dry out.