Bird feces was the likely cause of a nuclear power plant shutdown outside New York City.
The Indian Point reactor safely shut down for three days starting Dec. 14 following an electrical disturbance on outdoor high voltage transmission lines.
New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. said an outside expert is analyzing whether what’s technically called bird “streaming” was the culprit. In a report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) last month, the company said the automatic reactor shutdown was apparently from bird feces that caused an electric arc between wires on a feeder line at a transmission tower.
Plant managers told the NRC they were revising preventive maintenance for additional inspection and cleaning and installing bird guards on transmission towers.
Indian Point has had a series of issues of late. In February New York state said it was going to investigate the plant after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he learned that “radioactive tritium-contaminated water” leaked into the groundwater at the nuclear facility in Westchester County.
Cuomo, in a letter to the state Health Department and the Department of Environmental Conservation, called for the probe after he said the Buchanan, NY, plant’s owner reported “alarming levels of radioactivity” at three monitoring wells.