Friday, June 6, 2008

Indian Point reactor restarted; 6 sirens fail

Indian Point reactor restarted; 6 sirens fail

Buchanan — Control room operators at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan returned reactor Unit 2 to service Wednesday night, a plant spokeswoman said.

Unit 2, one of two active reactors at the plant, was shut down Wednesday morning to repair a part that controls the voltage in the unit's main electric generator.

Spokeswoman Robyn Bentley said Wednesday's shutdown was a planned event, not an emergency.

In another development, six of 156 warning sirens failed Wednesday during the plant's quarterly emergency drill.

Two of the faulty sirens were located in Orange County, one in Rockland County and three were in Westchester County. All the sirens tested in Putnam County performed properly, Bentley said. The sirens tested belonged to Indian Point's existing warning system.

A new siren system has been in development since 2005, when the Energy Policy Act mandated a warning system that could function during a power outage. The plant's old siren system would not work during a blackout.

Entergy Nuclear, the company that owns and operates Indian Point, has already missed two deadlines to replace the existing system. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission imposed more than $800,000 in fines for missed deadlines. Entergy's next deadline is Aug. 14. Bentley said the plant will be testing the new sirens throughout the summer to prepare for the deadline.

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