July 4 (Reuters) - Entergy Corp said Thursday Unit 2 at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York returned to service just in time to help provide the electricity that will be needed in coming days as consumers crank up their air conditioners to escape a heat wave bearing down on the state.
The 1,006-megawatt reactor shut on Wednesday for maintenance.
The company said in a release the unit returned at 9:54 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday after workers repaired a system that controls the flow of water through the unit’s two main boiler feed pumps.
The pumps are located on the non-nuclear side of the plant and feed water into the steam generator so it can be heated and turned into steam to make electricity, the company said.
There was no release of radioactivity and no threat to the safety of workers or the public, the company said. All equipment performed as designed in response to the shutdown.
Unit 3 at the plant, meanwhile, is operating at full power and has been online for 96 continuous days since completing a refueling outage in April, the company said. ---------------------------------------------------------- PLANT BACKGROUND/TIMELINE STATE: New York COUNTY: Westchester TOWN: Buchanan about 45 miles (72 km) north of New York
City OPERATOR: Entergy Nuclear OWNER(S): Entergy Nuclear CAPACITY: 2,037 MW UNIT(S): Unit 2 - 1,006 MW Westinghouse pressurized
Unit 3 - 1,031 MW Westinghouse pressurized
water reactor FUEL: Nuclear DISPATCH: Baseload COST: $2.450 billion (in 2007 US dollars) TIMELINE: 1962 - Consolidated Edison gets operating license for the
275-MW Unit 1, a pressurized water reactor. The
first core of Unit 1 used thorium based fuel but
did not meet expectations and the plant was
operated with uranium oxide fuel 1974 - Unit 1 shut 1974 - Unit 2 enters commercial service 1976 - Unit 3 enters commercial service 2000 - Entergy buys Unit 3 from NYPA 2001 - Entergy buys Unit 2 from Con Edison 2007 - Entergy files with NRC to renew both unit’s 40-year
operating licenses for an additional 20 years. 2010 - NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
ruled Indian Point violates the federal Clean
Water Act because the plant’s water intake system
kills fish. The state wants Entergy to install a
closed loop cooling system like cooling towers. 2011-13 - Entergy has argued before an administrative
judge at the NY DEC that cooling towers would cost
about $1.5 billion to $2 billion and could not be
built before 2029. Opponents of the plant argue the
company could install smaller cooling towers at a
much lower cost. Instead of cooling towers, Entergy
wants to install a $200 million to $250 million
Wedgewire screen system that could be installed in
about three years. The plant needs a water permit
from the state before the NRC can issue new
operating licenses. Oct 2012 - NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) to
hold hearings on more than a dozen contentions from
environmental groups and New York State opposed to
the relicensing. With so many contentions, the
NRC cannot say when the Commission will make a
final decision on the relicensing. The reactors can
continue to operate so long as the relicensing
process continues. Jun 2013 - NRC staff completes supplemental environmental
impact statement saying continued operation of
reactors for 20 years would not harm the environment
or aquatic life in the Hudson River 2013 - NRC staff expected to complete supplemental safety
evaluation report 2013 - ASLB will allow interveners to file new contentions
on the supplemental environmental and safety reports 2013 - DEC could decide on water permit issue 2013 - Unit 2 license expires 2015 - Unit 3 license expires