INDIAN POINT DISASTER INEVITABLE
AND I DO NOT SAY THAT LIGHTLY
Dropping 10 control rods into the vessel is not a small thing!
2 ISSUES OF NOTE
#1 July 2013, a former supervisor, who worked at the Indian Point nuclear power plant for twenty-nine years, was arrested for falsifying critical safety records and lying to federal regulators.
So this supervisor worked for 29 years at Indian Point and was falsifying safety records. I would say we have no idea how bad things have been, or are now.
#2 Something else that I find interesting in a bad way is that the language used changed in this event. The standard response after an incident is “the public was in no danger at any time” but this time we get “No immediate concerns were identified,”
In 1997, Indian Point Unit 3 was removed from the NRC’s list of plants which receive increased attention from the regulator. An engineer for the NRC noted that the plant had been experiencing increasingly fewer problems during inspections. On March 10, 2009 the Indian Point Power Plant was awarded the fifth consecutive top safety rating for annual operations by the Federal regulators. According to the Hudson Valley Journal News, the plant had shown substantial improvement in its safety culture in the previous two years. A 2003 report commissioned by then-Governor George Pataki concluded that the “current radiological response system and capabilities are not adequate to…protect the people from an unacceptable dose of radiation in the event of a release from Indian Point”. More recently, in December 2012 Entergy commissioned a 400-page report on the estimates of evacuation times. This report, performed by emergency planning company KLD Engineering, concluded that the existing traffic management plans provided by Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester Counties are adequate and require no changes. According to one list which ranks US nuclear power plants by their likelihood of having a major natural disaster related incident, Indian Point is the most likely to be hit by a natural disaster, mainly an earthquake. Despite this, the owners of the plant still say that safety is a selling point for the nuclear power plant.
In 1973, five months after Indian Point 2 opened, the plant was shut down when engineers discovered buckling in the steel liner of the concrete dome in which the nuclear reactor is housed.
On October 17, 1980, 100,000 gallons of Hudson River water leaked into the Indian Point 2 containment building from the fan cooling unit, undetected by a safety device designed to detect hot water. The flooding, covering the first 9 feet of the reactor vessel, was discovered when technicians entered the building. Two pumps which should have removed the water were found to be inoperative. NRC proposed a $2,100,000 fine for the incident.
In February 2000, Unit 2 experienced a Steam Generator Tube Rupture (SGTR), which allowed a small amount of primary water to leak into the secondary system through one of the steam generators. All four steam generators were subsequently replaced.
In 2005, Entergy workers while digging discovered a small leak in a spent fuel pool. Water containing tritium and strontium-90 was leaking through a crack in the pool building and then finding its way into the nearby Hudson River. Workers were able to keep the spent fuel rods safely covered despite the leak. On March 22, 2006 The New York Times also reported finding radioactive nickel-63 and strontium in groundwater on site.
In 2007, a transformer at Unit 3 caught fire, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission raised its level of inspections, because the plant had experienced many unplanned shutdowns. According to The New York Times, Indian Point “has a history of transformer problems”.
On April 23, 2007, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission fined the owner of the Indian Point nuclear plant $130,000 for failing to meet a deadline for a new emergency siren plan. The 150 sirens at the plant are meant to alert residents within 10 miles to a plant emergency. Since 2008, a Rockland County-based private company has taken over responsibility for the infrastructure used to trigger and maintain the ATI siren system. The sirens, once plagued with failures, have functioned nearly flawlessly ever since.
On January 7, 2010, NRC inspectors reported that an estimated 600,000 gallons of mildly radioactive steam was intentionally vented to the atmosphere after an automatic shutdown of Unit 2. After the vent, one of the vent valves unintentionally remained slightly open for two days. The levels of tritium in the steam were within the allowable safety limits defined in NRC standards.
On November 7, 2010, an explosion occurred in a main transformer for Indian Point 2, spilling oil into the Hudson River. Entergy later agreed to pay a $1.2 million penalty for the transformer explosion.
July 2013, a former supervisor, who worked at the Indian Point nuclear power plant for twenty-nine years, was arrested for falsifying critical safety records and lying to federal regulators.
On May 9, 2015, a transformer failed at Indian Point 3, causing the automated shutdown of reactor 3. A fire that resulted from the failure was extinguished, and the reactor was placed in a safe and stable condition.  The failed transformer contained about 24,000 gallons of dielectric fluid, which is used as an insulator and coolant when the transformer is energized. The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that about 3,000 gallons of dielectric fluid entered the river following the failure.
In June, 2015, a mylar balloon floated into a switchyard, causing an electrical problem resulting in the shutdown of Reactor 3.
In July 2015, Reactor 3 was shut down after a water pump failure.
On December 5th, 2015 , Indian Point 2 was shutdown after several control rods lost power. here is the actual report wording:
MANUAL REACTOR TRIP INITIATED DUE TO MULTIPLE DROPPED CONTROL RODS
“At 1731 [EST] on December 5, 2015, Indian Point Unit 2 Control Room operators initiated a Manual Reactor Trip due to indications of multiple dropped Control Rods. The initiating event was a smoldering Motor Control Center (MCC) cubicle in the Turbine Building that supplies power to the Rod Control System. The unit is stable in Mode 3 with heat sink provided by Auxiliary Feedwater and decay heat removal is via the steam dumps to the condenser. Offsite Power remains in service.
“The smoldering MCC cubicle had power removed from it when 24 MCC breaker tripped on overcurrent. The affected cubicle has ceased smoldering and is being monitored by on-site Fire Brigade trained personnel. The trip of 24 MCC removed power to 22 Battery Charger, 22 DC Bus remained powered from the 22 Battery without interruption, and 22 Battery Charger was subsequently repowered.”
The cause of the smoldering MCC is being investigated and a post reactor trip evaluation is being conducted by the licensee. There was no impact on Unit 3, which continues to operate at 100% power.
The licensee has notified the NRC Resident Inspector and appropriate State and Local authorities.
“Safety Evaluation Report Related to the License Renewal of Indian Point Nuclear Generating Unit Nos. 2 and 3.”
of note: “The Cuomo administration recently called for the closing of Indian Point. Director of State operations Jim Malatras wrote to members of the Nuclear Regulatory commission last month saying that the commission should “on an expedited basis, deny Entergy’s application for relicensing of the Indian Point Facilities.”
If a nuclear meltdown on the same scale of Japan’s March 11, 2011, disaster at Fukushima Daiichi happened at Entergy’s Indian Point nuclear power plant, much of the Hudson Valley, New York City and surrounding areas could be affected, requiring evacuations far outside the 10-mile zone for which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires emergency plans. For Indian Point, even those inadequate evacuation plans have been called “unworkable” after months of study by safety experts.
This report presents the results of an independent analysis of the health and economic impacts of a terrorist attack at Indian Point that results in a core meltdown and a large radiological release to the environment. We find that, depending on the weather conditions, an attack could result in as many as 44,000 near-term deaths from acute radiation syndrome or as many as 518,000 long-term deaths from cancer among individuals within fifty miles of the plant. These findings confirm that Indian Point poses a severe threat to the entire New York metropolitan area. The scope of emergency planning measures should be promptly expanded to provide some protection from the fallout from an attack at Indian Point to those New York area residents who currently have none.
It does not take a genius to figure out that there is no way to evacuate the amount of people that would need to eacuated if a meltdown or other release of sigifgance happened at Indian Point. Anyone who is familiar with the area knows how the roads come to a standstill on a daily basis. The LIE, the Lincoln Tunnel, The GW bridge, Cross Bronx Expressway. Can bareley handel daily traffic. Same for the routes north of the city or off through NJ and PA. There is no workable plan, and thousands would die if something were to set off a release of radiation from Indian Point. n fact I would guess there would be thousands of deaths just from panic as people tried to flee.
The Indian Point nuclear plant, 35 miles north of midtown Manhattan, has three reactors, two of which remain in operation. Entergy Nuclear, which operates the plant, has requested that the federal government extend the operating licenses of the two reactors for 20 additional years beyond their 2
013 and 2015 expiration dates. To date, federal officials have not acknowledged any public health risks of license extension at Indian Point. This report explores risks from Indian Point license extension to Fairfield County.
Continued operation of Indian Point raises the risk of radioactivity exposure in two ways. First, the reactor cores would produce high-level waste to be added to the 1,500 tons already at the site, worsening the consequences of a large-scale release. Second, because reactors routinely release radioactivity, keeping Indian Point in service would mean greater releases and risks to local residents.
Fairfield County, CT is located to the east-southeast of Indian Point, 18 miles away at its closest point in Greenwich and 45 miles away at its most distant in Stratford. The principal health risks Indian Point poses to the county, detailed in the report, are:
A large-scale release of radioactivity in a meltdown, from mechanical failure or act of sabotage, would harm thousands of Fairfield residents by radiation poisoning or cancer.
Indian Point has released the 5th greatest amount of airborne radioactivity out of 72 U.S. nuclear plants. In some periods, releases are up to 100 times greater than normal.
Levels of Strontium-90 in Fairfield County baby teeth are the highest in the New York metropolitan area, with the exception of the New York counties closest to Indian Point
The recent rate of babies born underweight in Fairfield County exceeds U.S. rates by 3%, 12%, 3%, and 32% for whites, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics
Recent cancer incidence in Fairfield County is 8% and 7% above the U.S. rate for males and females
The portion of Fairfield County with the highest cancer incidence rates are the towns in the southwest part of the county, directly downwind and closest to Indian Point
The Fairfield County death rate for children and adolescents (under age 25) is 4% above the U.S. rate, but 20% below for all other causes.
While many factors contribute to cancer risk, evidence suggests that more detailed study on Indian Point is warranted, and that residents of Fairfield County be informed of any potential health risks, as federal regulators consider Entergy Nuclear’s proposal to extend the Indian Point licenses for 20 years. Sound public policy would mandate that Entergy prove the reactors do not harm local residents as a condition for license extension.
Section 54.4(a)(3) of Title 10 of the Code of
Federal Regulations (10 CFR 54.4(a)(3))
EarthQuake you say? The plant is almost directly over a fault line.
Lots of info on plants and populations bu no data on rates: http://www.nap.edu/read/13388/chapter/3