After a fire knocked it offline, Indian Point Unit 3 nuclear power plant returned to service generating electricity after a 16-day shutdown to replace a failed main electrical transformer, Entergy officials said.
Indian Point Unit 2 continues to operate at full power and has been online for 434 continuous days. It was unaffected by the shutdown at unit 3.
“I want to thank our entire Indian Point team for their professionalism and dedication to safe operations that enabled unit 3 to safely shut down as expected following the transformer failure and then returned the plant to service,” said Larry Coyle, the site vice president and top Entergy official at Indian Point. “We are working with industry experts to understand the cause of this transformer failure in order to help prevent a recurrence.”
Entergy is also working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to investigate and mitigate the environmental impact of a clear, light mineral oil known as dielectric fluid on the Hudson River that leaked from the transformer.
The oil acts as an electrical insulator and coolant inside transformers.
Preliminary estimates by the Coast Guard, based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, indicate about 3,000 gallons of dielectric fluid entered the river out of 24,000 gallons of dielectric fluid in the failed transformer.
Entergy said its personnel have conducted assessments of about 25 locations based on observations regarding potential oil sheens in the Hudson River, implementing the appropriate mitigation efforts at the direction of the Coast Guard and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation at a handful of those sites. Environmental experts determined no action was needed at the other 20 locations.
Entergy intends to announce its preliminary understanding on the cause of the transformer failure by the end of June.