Control room operators disconnected Indian Point’s unit 3 nuclear power plant from the electrical grid last night in order to troubleshoot an issue with an auxiliary electrical transformer. The transformer takes electricity created from the plant’s main electrical generator and changes its voltage so that it can be used to power some of the plant’s pumps and motors on site.
Operators had observed an increase in gases within the transformer oil during routine sampling on Tuesday. An increase in gases is an indicator of potential transformer degradation. Repairs to the transformer can only be done when the transformer is disconnected from the electrical generator.
The plant will return to service after the auxiliary transformer is disconnected and alternate power to the affected equipment is provided.
There was no release of radioactivity and no threat to the safety of workers or the public. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission was notified.
Unit 3 had operated for 327 continuous days since returning to service following a refueling shutdown in April 2011.
Unit 2 continues operating at full power and has been online for 43 continuous days since returning to service following replacement of a seal inside a pump.
Indian Point Energy Center, in Buchanan is home to two operating nuclear power plants, unit 2 and unit 3, which generate approximately 2,000 megawatts of electricity for homes, businesses and public facilities primarily in New York City and Westchester. www.safesecurevital.com