Indian Point Energy Center

Indian Point Energy Center

Infobox NPP

caption = Entergy's Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC) seen from across the Hudson.
Status = O
Utility = Entergy
Location = Buchanan,New York
Supplier = Westinghouse
Type = PWR
Capacity = Unit 2: 1,020 MW
Unit 3: 1,025
generation = Unit 2: 8,842 GWh
Unit 3: 7,797
for_year = 2007
av_annual_gen = Unit 2: 8,315 GWh
Unit 3: 8,232
Start = Unit 2: August 1, 1974
Unit 3: August 30, 1976
Expires = Unit 2: September 28, 2013
Unit 3: December 12, 2015
architect = United Engineers and Constructors
construction = United Engineers and Constructors
Region = 1
website =| It's Right For New York]
website 2 =|Safe Secure Vital]
website 3 = http:/|Entergy

Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC) is a three-unit nuclear power plant station located in Buchanan, New York just south of Peekskill. It sits on the east bank of the Hudson River, 24 miles north of New York City, New York. The plant is owned and operated by Entergy Nuclear Northeast, a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation and includes two operating Westinghouse pressurized water reactors - Indian Point 2 and Indian Point 3. It also contains the permanently shut down Indian Point Unit 1 reactor. [ [ Status of Nuclear Energy in the United States] , Argonne National Laboratories] Total employment at the site is 1,683. [ [ NAM Says Indian Point License is Key to New York Power, Economy] , National Association of Manufacturers, December 2007]

Unit 1

Indian Point 1, built by Consolidated Edison Co., was the first of three reactors at this location. It was a 275-megawatt pressurized water reactor, was issued an operating license on March 26, 1962 and started operations on Sept. 16, 1962. [ [ New York Nuclear Industry] Energy Information Administration, Feb 2, 2007] The first core at the Indian Point power station used a Thorium-based fuel, but it did not live up to expectations. [ [ Thorium Fuel for Nuclear Energy] American Scientist, Sep/Oct 2003] The plant was operated with Uranium Oxide fuel for the remainder of its operations.

On June 5th, 1970, Unit 1 had a major plumbing problem which required the use of 700 men (for a few minutes each) over a 7 month period to weld in the radioactive area. [ Accidents: 1970's] Nuclear files] On Mar. 8th, 1972, pressures in the primary cooling circuit increased by 30%. Water had to be pumped out of unit 1 into the Hudson River, subsequently killing 150,000 fish.

The unit 1 reactor was shut down on October 31, 1974 because the emergency core cooling system did not meet regulatory requirements. All spent fuel was removed from the reactor vessel by January 1976. The licensee, Entergy, plans to decommission Unit 1 with Unit 2. [ [ Indian Point 1] Nuclear Regulatory Commission]

Units 2 and 3

The two additional reactors, Indian Point 2 and 3, were built in 1974 and 1976.

A test of the plant's alert sirens was held on September 13, 2006, with 154 of 156 sirens operating properly. Of the two failures--both in Rockland County--one siren sounded but did not rotate, and the other experienced a transmitter failure. Entergy replaced the current sirens with a $10 million high-tech warning system, scheduled for early-2007 - however, it missed the target date and the NRC proposed a $130,000 fine. [ [ NRC press release on sirens] ]

A fire occurred in a nonnuclear part of the facility, outside in the transformer yard on April 6, 2007. One of the two main transformers for Unit 3 experienced a failure. Transformer failures of this type are usually characterized by a low order explosion and a subsequent fire. There were no injuries and the plant's own fire brigade extinguished the fire. [cite news|url=|title=Fire Breaks Out At Indian Fire Nuclear Plant|publisher=CBS News|date=April 6, 2007] There was a previous fire in 1971 that did between five and ten million dollars of damage to the Indian Point Two reactor. The fire was set in an auxiliary building (housing control panels, cables, and pumps) while Unit Two was fueled but not yet critical and Unit One was operating nearby. [ [ Brittle Power] , p. 145.] Recently Indian Point has updated their siren system due to many residential citizens complaining about the old sirens and how supposedly they were not working correctly. There are still problems being worked out with the new sirens that have been installed at the power plant. Here is a short clip of the new sirens that have been installed.

On May 2, 2007 the NRC announced that the "License Renewal Application for Indian Point Nuclear Plant [is] Available for Public Inspection". Entergy has formally begun the lengthy process of applying to have the operating licenses of each unit extended by 20 years. [ [ NRC press release on licensing] ]


The plants are protected by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including a national guard base within a mile of the plant, as well as by specialized and highly trained private on-site security forces. Plant security across the country has been increased since 9/11. Nuclear plant security is tested by federal officials, including mock assault exercises overseen by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), to assess Indian Point's defenses in the event of an armed assault. In September 2006, the Security Department successfully completed Force-on-Force exercises for the NRC.


Interest in shutting down Indian Point dates back to 1979 following the Three Mile Island accident. However, some industry groups have said that shutting Indian Point would put a severe strain on New York City's electricity supply. Entergy (the operator of the plant), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the NRC insist the plant is safe. [ [ NRC: Search Results and Options ] ]

Activists claim that radioactive contamination from a major accident with containment breach at Indian Point might reach populated areas including New York City, northern New Jersey, and Fairfield County, Connecticut. The United States Military Academy at West Point is also located approximately 13 miles to the north. The 1982 CRAC-II study by Sandia National Laboratories found that a core meltdown and radiological release at one of the two operating Indian Point reactors could cause 50,000 near-term deaths from acute radiation syndrome and 14,000 long-term deaths from cancer. [cite news|url=|title=Chernobyl on the Hudson?: The Health and Economic Impacts of a Terrorist Attack at the Indian Point Nuclear Plant|date=September 2004|author=Edwin S. Lyman, PhD|publisher=Union of Concerned Scientists] Since that study, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have disavowed the results as being an "extremely conservative consequence analysis" because it "did not reflect current plant design, operation, accident management strategies or security enhancements." The NRC is currently pursuing a new, state-of-the-art assessment of possible severe accidents and their consequences.Fact|date=November 2007

Public health concerns about the plant have also been raised by activists, specifically in terms of radioactive contamination. On February 15, 2000, the Indian Point II power plant vented a small amount of radioactive steam when an aging steam generator ruptured. The NRC initially reported that no radioactive material was released, but later changed their report to say that there was a leak, but not of a sufficient amount to threaten public safety. [cite web|url=|author=Allen Lutins|date=January 23, 2006|title=U.S. Nuclear Accidents|accessdate=December 29|accessyear=2006] [cite web|url=|title=NRC Information Notice 2000-09]

New York metropolitan newspapers reported on September 11, that American Airlines Flight 11 flew almost exactly over the Indian Point Energy Center en route to and no more than eight minutes from the World Trade Center. Mohamed Atta (one of the 9/11 hijackers/plotters) had considered nuclear facilities for targeting in a terrorist attack. It also flew directly over a fully loaded LNG tanker ship at dock in Boston Harbor. [cite web|url=|title=Complete 911 Timeline|author=Paul Thompson et al.|publisher=Cooperative Research|date=December 27, 2006|accessdate=December 29|accessyear=2006] Entergy says it is prepared for a terrorist attack, and demonstrated that a large airliner crash into the containment building would not cause reactor damage. [ [ Aircraft Crash Impact Analyses Demonstrate Nuclear Power Plant’s Structural Strength] ] Following 9/11 the NRC required operators of Nuclear facilities in the United States to examine the effects and provide planned responses to terrorist events. [U.S. Approves Evacuation Plan For Indian Point Nuclear Plant|publisher=The New York Times|date=July 26, 2003|author=Randal C. Archibold & Matthew L. Wald]

In 2003, Directors of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Michael D. Brown and Joe Allbaugh certified the plant for operation and approved the evacuation plan. FEMA recently re-approved the evacuation plan for Indian Point, although the environmental activist group Riverkeeper contends that local residents and first responders question its effectiveness. Riverkeeper has lobbied more than 400 politicians (including 11 members of Congress), 500 local businesses, and over 200 police officers, firefighters, bus drivers, school teachers, and hospital workers, to call for the plant's closure, criticizing, among other things, its allegedly unworkable emergency plan. On May 30th 2007, the Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station in Plymouth, Mass., another plant owned and operated by the Entergy Corporation, accidentally faxed radiological advisories for the communities surrounding Indian Point in a test of its security systems. The reports were quickly dismissed due to lack of vital information, but Andrew Sutton, Westchester county's commissioner of emergency services expressed concern over the situation: "Let's face it, if it had a little more information on it and it had come at 3 a.m., these things can take on a life of their own." [cite news|url=|title=Mass. power plant inadvertently sends alerts to Hudson Valley|publisher=The Journal News|date=May 31, 2007]

The press has reported incidents at Indian Point ranging from the siren failures to radiation leaks too small to be detected over natural background radiation in the area. Incidents which would be too small to get press attention at other types of generation facilities frequently become front page news if they occur at a nuclear plant. The articles listed below fail to mention that there is no evidence that technical specification effluent release limits have ever been exceeded during the plant's operation. [ [ NRC Information Notice 2000-09: Steam Generator Tube Failure at Indian Point Unit 2 ] ] [ [ NRC: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Indian Point ] ] All of the articles listed below are also listed on the website of a company that sends email radiation alerts to paying customers only. [ [ Indian Point Area Radiation Monitoring Alerts ] ] Articles about incidents at Indian Point include: N.Y. Nuclear Plant Alarms Failed [cite news|url=,2933,163041,00.html|title=N.Y. Nuclear Plant Alarms Failed|publisher=Fox News|date=July 19, 2005] , Hairline cracks discovered in Indian Point fuel storage building [cite news|url=|title=Hairline cracks discovered in Indian Point fuel storage building|publisher=Indian Point Energy Center|date=September 20, 2005] , Indian Point emergency pumps failed [cite news|url=|title=Indian Point emergency pumps failed|publisher=Times Herald-Record|date=August 2, 2005] , Pols blast latest Indian Point failure [cite news|url=|title=Pols blast latest Indian Point failure|publisher=Times Herald-Record|date=August 17, 2005] , County Executive Diana Outraged Over Indian Point Siren System Failure [cite news|url=|title=County Executive Diana Outraged Over Indian Point Siren System Failure|publisher=Orange County, New York|date=October 18, 2005] , Loss of Emergency Response Capability Due to Weather [cite news|url=|title=Loss of Emergency Response Capability Due to Weather|publisher=National Regulatory Commission|date=January 18, 2006] , E-mails Show New York Knew About Radioactive Isotopes Under Indian Point [cite news|url=|title=E-mails Show New York Knew About Radioactive Isotopes Under Indian Point|publisher=The Journal News|date=March 2, 2006] , Public last to know about leak at Indian Point (video report) [cite news|url=|title=Public last to know about leak at Indian Point|publisher=WCBS|date=March 6, 2006] , Indian Point Siren Snafu Puts Pressure On Entergy [cite news|url=|title=Indian Point Siren Snafu Puts Pressure On Entergy|publisher=WCBS|date=March 8, 2006] , Indian Point Sirens Down for Six Hours [cite news|url=|title=Indian Point Sirens Down for Six Hours|publisher=|date=August 2, 2006] , At Least 2 Failures in Indian Point Siren Test [cite news|url=|title=At Least 2 Failures in Indian Point Siren Test|publisher=1010 WINS|date=September 14, 2006] , New Leaks Found at Indian Point from Unit 1 [cite news|url=|title=New Leaks Found at Indian Point from Unit 1|publisher=North County News|date=November 29, 2006] and this article about a leak of water containing weak radioactive isotopes which did not contaminate groundwater outside of the plant's grounds or reach the Hudson River [cite news|url=|title=National, State and Local Leaders To Meet For Discussion on Radioactive Leaks At Indian Point|publisher=E-WIRE|date=March 1, 2008] .

A private, for-profit company called IPRadMon began offering the public radiation alerts by e-mail for "less than 3 cents per day". The IPRadMon website cite articles unrelated to the safety of the plant, claiming that "The articles listed below bring into question whether any action would be taken, and even whether the public would be notified in the event of an emergency." Articles listed on the IPRadMon site on 5/9/2008 include "Entergy's Non-utility Nuclear Spinoff Plan Draws Opposition" [ [ - Entergy's Non-utility Nuclear Spinoff Plan Draws Opposition ] ] and "Entergy's Spinoff Plan Faces Resistance" [ [ Free Preview - ] ] Westchester County since began offering a free service that send alerts "in case of a large-scale emergency" in the county by email, text messaging and/or phone message. New York City is considering a law that will require permits for the ownership of radiation detectors as well as devices that can detect chemical and biological contaminants in the air. This article NYPD Seeks an Air Monitor Crackdown for New Yorkers [cite news|url=,thompson,78873,2.html|title=NYPD Seeks an Air Monitor Crackdown for New Yorkers|publisher=The Village Voice|date=January 8, 200] discusses the plan. The New York City bill is titled Intro 650. [cite news|url=|title=Stop Intro 650 Now|publisher=New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health|date=May 1, 2008]

Some environmental activists feel the lack of greenhouse gases emitted during nuclear power generation outweighs the alleged security risks. On February 23, 2007, Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore wrote an opinion piece in the "New York Post" in favor of keeping Indian Point open, saying: "I strongly support renewal of the license for the Indian Point nuclear plants in Westchester, which provides 30 percent or so of the electricity used in the New York metro area." [cite news|url=|title=Nuclear & Green: Indian Point An Enviro Plus|author=Patrick Moore|publisher=New York Post|date=February 23, 2007]

On November 7, 2006, John Hall was elected Congressman in the 19th District of New York State, which is the district where the Indian Point nuclear power plant is located. Hall, formerly a musician, performed at the 1979 No Nukes concert in Battery Park where half a million people gathered in support of a shut down of Indian Point. [ [ Rock the Reactors:Shut Down Indian Point in 2008] ]

On April 23, 2007, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission fined the owner of the Indian Point nuclear plant $130,000 for failing to meet a deadline for a new emergency siren plan. The 150 sirens at the plant are meant to alert residents within 10 miles to a plant emergency. [ [ Buchanan: Nuclear Plant Owner Fined] ]

On Sept. 23, 2007, An antinuclear group filed legal papers with the NRC, Nuclear Regulatory Commission opposing the relicensing of the Indian Point 2 nuclear reactor in Westchester County.The anti-nuclear group Friends United for Sustainable Energy, or FUSE, based out of New York, contends that for decades, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and its predecessor, the Atomic Energy Commission, improperly held the Indian Point reactors, which are in Buchanan, N.Y., to less stringent design requirements than those the government applied to newer plants. [cite news|url=
title=Indian Point Faces New Challenge From Opponents|author=Mathew L. Wald New York Times| date=September 23, 2007

On December 1, 2007 Westchester County Executive Andy Spano, New York Attorney General Cuomo, and New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer called a press conference which included New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, Congressman John Hall, Congresswoman Nita Lowey and many other elected New York officials. Advocacy groups Clearwater and Riverkeeper were also included. The purpose of the press conference was to make clear the united opposition on all levels of government to the re licensing of the Indian Point nuclear power plants. The Department of Environmental Control and the Office of the Attorney General jointly filed 32 Contentions, or reasons, requesting a hearing on this matter as part of the process put forth by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. One section of the contentions detailed ways to replace the electricity generated at Indian Point. Fact|date=March 2008

As of January 2008, Entergy is to be fined $650,000 for "being too slow" to ensure public warning systems had back-up power at Indian Point. Entergy failed to upgrade the mandatory emergency warning system as required by the 2005 Energy Policy Act. The civil penalty of $650,000 proposed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for Entergy is ten times the base level for this class of violation. [ [ US regulator dishes out fines] ]

The Indian Point power plant has a history of problematic performance and there is considerable controversy about the plant's future. [ [ New York State Notice of Intention to Intervene] ] Twenty million people live within a 50 mile radius of Indian Point, and the plant is in an area of elevated seismic risk and was flown over by the airplanes hijacked by terrorists who crashed into the World Trade Center. However, the facility is designed with seismic considerations in mind - as was demonstrated at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in 2006, even seismic activity well in excess of design parameters caused no damage to the nuclear reactors or containment vessels of a nuclear power station, with minimal, essentially negligible releases of radioactivity to the environment. It also has been demonstrated that a terrorist attack involving an aircraft being crashed into a nuclear reactor containment building, or similar other attack or disaster such as a bomb attack or direct strike by a tornado, will not be capable of breaching the containment vessel. [ [ Aircraft Crash Impact Analyses Demonstrate Nuclear Power Plant’s Structural Strength] ]

Media coverage

* HBO aired a television dramatization surrounding the controversy called "Indian Point: Imagining The Unimaginable". [] It first aired on September 9th, 2004, and was directed by Rory Kennedy. Ms. Kennedy is the sister of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Mr. Kennedy is the legal consul for the anti-nuclear environmental advocacy group, Riverkeeper.

* The New York Times published a story on September 24, 2007 reporting on the rigorous legal opposition Entergy faces as the company announces its intent to request a 20-year licensing extension for its aging Indian Point 2 reactor. []

* Frontline created an episode entitled Nuclear Reaction with associated legal references. []

In literature

The book "Night Siege", by Dr. J. Allen Hynek, details an infamous incident where UFOs flew over the plant and purports that a massive cover-up was done such as at Roswell in 1947. Many however, contend that there is no credible evidence of UFOs from extra-terrestrial locations.

ee also

*American Nuclear Society
*Anti-nuclear movement in the United States
*Brittle Power
*Consolidated Edison Company of New York
*Entergy Corporation
*Nuclear and radiation accidents
*Nuclear Energy Institute
*Nuclear Information and Resource Service
*Nuclear safety in the U.S.‎
*Union of Concerned Scientists


External links

* [| It's Right For New York]
* [ DoE Page]
* [ Indian Point Energy Center: Safe. Secure. Vital.]
* [, Indian Point]
* [ Citizens Awareness Network]
* [ How secure are U.S. nuclear power plants?] from "Grist Magazine"
* [ Indian Point Area Radiation Monitoring Alerts]
* [ 2007 Media reports on Indian Point]
* [ Media reports on tritium and strontium 90 leaks]
* [ "Study finds new earthquake dangers for NYC"] ,"Associated Press", August 23, 2008
* [ Indian Point:From Amusement Park to Power Plant] "New York Times" Apr 8, 2003

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