Indian Point Transformer Fire

Diane Screnci
Senior Public Affairs Officer
Region I

NRC inspectors are following up on a transformer fire at Indian Point Energy Center over the weekend. The NRC Resident Inspectors for Indian Point – who work at the plant on a daily basis – are monitoring activities at the site while plant workers are troubleshooting and looking for the cause of the fire on the Unit 3 main transformer.

The transformer fire happened at about 6 p.m. on Saturday night. A sprinkler system initially extinguished the flames, but it reignited and was put out by the onsite fire brigade and local fire departments. The fire caused the reactor to automatically shut down, as designed. All safety systems worked as designed. There was no danger to the public and no release of radiation. The reactor is stable. Unit 2 continues to operate at full power.

Plant operators declared an “unusual event” – the lowest of the emergency classifications – in accordance with plant procedures. All plants have procedures, approved by the NRC, that dictate how events are classified to ensure appropriate steps are taken to respond to the event and to communicate the event to local and state agencies and the NRC.

In addition to cooling provided by fans, the main transformer is also cooled by oil flowing through it. On Saturday, oil from the transformer spilled into the plant’s discharge canal. Entergy has been working to determine how much oil was spilled.

The transformer that failed carries electricity from the main generator to the electrical grid. The same type of equipment can be found at any plant that generates electricity. It is on the electrical generation side of the plant – not the nuclear side.

As far as next steps go, plant employees will determine what happened and why. They will repair or replace any equipment that was damaged in the fire. The plant can restart when ready. NRC inspectors will be monitoring Entergy’s actions every step of the way, ensuring workers are taking all appropriate actions.

As we do with any event at a plant, we’ll continue to review what happened and how the plant responded. If need be, we’ll send additional inspectors to the site to look further into the event and its effects.

New dates for Illinois and California Waste Confidence public meetings

Keith I. McConnell
Director, Waste Confidence Directorate
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards

With the government shutdown now behind us, we’ve been working to get five important Waste Confidence meetings rescheduled.  If you recall, meetings to talk about the proposed new Waste Confidence rule and draft generic environmental impact statement were planned in San Luis Obispo and Carlsbad, Calif., and Oak Brook, Ill., and scheduled Oct. 7, 9 and 24 respectively. With the shutdown we had to postpone these and two other meetings.

We’re pleased to say that most of the meetings are now rescheduled. The Oak Brook meeting is now set for Tuesday, Nov. 12. The one in Carlsbad will take place on Monday, Nov. 18, and the one in San Luis Obispo will be on Wednesday, Nov. 20. The starting times and locations for these three meetings are unchanged.

Please see the Waste Confidence Directorate’s Public Involvement webpage for meeting times, locations, and how to register to attend the meetings.

The Waste Confidence Directorate is still working on rescheduling meetings originally scheduled for Oct. 15 in Perrysburg, Ohio, and Oct. 17 in Minnetonka, Minn. We expect to make an announcement about new dates for those meetings early next week.

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