No safety issue with gas pipeline near Indian Point, NRC says

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BUCHANAN – An expert team of Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff and outside specialists has concluded the Indian Point nuclear power plant would remain safe should there be a potential accident on a 42-inch natural gas pipeline near the plant. 

The team’s report also recommends several follow-up actions, including that the plant owner, Entergy, revisits the assumptions it made in its analysis. 

The team’s safety conclusion is based on two factors. First, the Algonquin Incremental Market pipeline has a very small chance of rupture near Indian Point, due to the pipeline’s modern construction, quality control and additional “high consequence” requirements for inspection and an integrity management program.

Second, Indian Point’s safety systems sit well outside the potential impact zones for postulated AIM pipeline accident effects such as heat, pressure, and projectiles. 

The team’s analyses also determined that any pipeline-related increase in Indian Point’s risk fell below the NRC’s thresholds for prompting additional action. 

The team’s report was submitted in response to direction from Margaret Doane, the NRC’s executive director for Operations, following an NRC Inspector General report on the agency’s handling of public concerns about the pipeline issues.