Update: Indian Point Unit 2 returned to service Thursday afternoon, Entergy Corp. announced in a press release.
For the second time in less than two weeks, Indian Point Energy Center has unexpectedly shut down its Unit 2 nuclear reactor.
Entergy Corp., operators of the Buchanan plant, announced Wednesday that the reactor was “automatically and safely” shut down at 9:30 a.m. The shutdown occurred at the same time technicians were testing electrical systems designed to automatically shut down the reactor if needed, but the company says the exact cause of the shutdown is still under investigation.
There was no release of radioactivity and no effect on public or worker health and safety, according to Entergy.
Equipment operated as designed and control room operators responded as expected during the shutdown, Entergy said.
In the press release announcing the shutdown, Entergy noted that Indian Point Unit 3, the plant’s other reactor, remains at full power and has been online for 203 continuous days.
The Unit 2 reactor was also shut down on June 24, when workers discovered a pipe was leaking water back into the Hudson River from a non-radioactive part of the plant. The reactor was started up again on June 28.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called that shutdown the “latest example of the repeated and continuing problems at the plant.” Cuomo has long been a proponent of closing Indian Point.
The Unit 2 reactor was shut down for three months earlier this year while Entergy replaced 278 bolts that were found to have defects during a scheduled maintenance outage in March. Unit 2 started back up on June 16 after receiving approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
An anti-nuclear environmental group, Friends of the Earth, challenged the initial June 16 restart both to NRC regulators and then in federal court, but a panel of judges ultimately ruled against the federal court challenge.