Thursday, April 20, 2017




More failed bolts discovered at Indian Point

BUCHANAN – It was a little over a year ago when Indian Point unit 2 reactor core baffle bolts were found missing or impaired, causing opponents of the nuclear power plant to raise their voices against continued operation of the facilities. At that time, 227 of 832 bolts were found either degraded or missing.

Since then, an agreement was reached to permanently shut down units 2 and 3 in 2020 and 2021.

Now, it has been learned that 256 of the 832 bolts that keep the inner plates of the reactor core from coming apart in unit 3 were impaired.

A statement from Indian Point owner Entergy said, “The number of bolts to be replaced at Unit 3 this year is consistent with the number of bolts that were replaced last year at Unit 2. Independent engineering experts concluded both Indian Point units operated safely and that the baffle bolts in both units performed their intended function at all times while the plants were running, as expected based on the comprehensive analysis conducted last year.”

Riverkeeper has been in the lead along with the governor to close down the facilities.

Riverkeeper spokesman Cliff Weathers said Wednesday the cause of those two situations must be determined immediately.

“We need to know why these two reactors are the only ones to suffer such problems,” Weathers said “It is incumbent upon the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to conduct a root-cause analysis of the problem. We don’t know if it is a design or structural problem or just a maintenance issue, but until the NRC determines the cause, they should not let unit 3 reopen.”

Indian Point spokesman Jerry Nappi took exception with Weathers’ claim that Indian Point is the only plant to experience that issue. “Many other plants have experienced similar issues with baffle bolt wear, and why we proactively inspect them in the first place,” Nappi said.

Unit 3 has been offline for weeks for a scheduled refueling.

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