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The extreme cold weather has had an impact on New York’s Indian Point nuclear power plant as indicators for a refueling water tank were not working Thursday, causing a temporary, partial shutdown.

Operators at Indian Point Unit 3 discovered the two sets of low-low water level indicators, or alarms, for the plant’s refueling water storage tank were not functioning, said Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) spokesman Neil Sheehan. The cause of the lines freezing was a failed strip heater, he said.

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“The good news is the company was able to identify this quickly, get one of those lines unfrozen, and restore the alarm capabilities,” Sheehan said.

He said the Buchanan, NY-based plant has within seven days to restore the other alarm or else the operators would have to shut down the unit.

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Sheehan said the issue is a matter of safety, as water would need to pump from the storage tank into the reactor coolant system if there were an accident.

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