Indian Point 2 Inspections Reveal Problems With Bolts

BUCHANAN, N.Y. -- Although scheduled comprehensive inspections found critical components at Unit 2 at the Indian Point nuclear power plant performing safely, issues with hundreds of the more than 2,000 bolts inspected require further work before the plant will be restarted, Entergy Corp. said on Wednesday.

Issues with hundreds of bolts were found during an inspection at the Indian Point nuclear power plant.
Issues with hundreds of bolts were found during an inspection at the Indian Point nuclear power plant. Photo Credit: Entergy Corp.

Each bolt, about two inches long and made of stainless steel, holds plate inserts together inside the reactor.

The "issues" consists of faulty or missing bolts found on the face of the removable liner, not on bolts along the liner’s edges. During the inspection, engineers identified the missing bolts, and bars meant to hold them in place, and other degradation requiring replacement of the bolts.

The problem with the bolts was discovered during a required in-depth inspection of the Indian Point scheduled once every decade. The latest inspection, began earlier this month.

 "Safety is always our first priority, and the hundreds of inspections performed over the last few weeks demonstrate these programs work as designed," said Larry Coyle, site vice president and Entergy’s top official at Indian Point. "Safeguards and automatic detection equipment are in place to alert plant operators of impacts on safe operations.” 

The replacement of the bolts is expected to add cost and several weeks’ duration to the refueling and maintenance outage.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, long a proponent of the plant said in a statement on Tuesday, March 29, “This is the latest in a long series of incidents that raise deep concerns about the management, maintenance and equipment standards at this plant.” 

“While there is no immediate danger to public health and safety,"Cuomo added, "this troubling news further validates the State’s ongoing investigation into the operations of this aging power plant and our position that it should not be relicensed.”

Entergy has informed the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and other appropriate regulatory authorities of the issues with the bolt.

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