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Hundreds Of Faulty Bolts Found At Indian Point Nuclear Plant

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Hundreds of faulty bolts have been discovered at the Indian Point power plant, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated his position that it is time for the state to yank the plant's license.

The faulty bolts were found in the Indian Point Unit 2 plant, in what Cuomo called "the latest in a long series of incidents that raise deep concerns about the management, maintenance and equipment standards at this plant."

Entergy Corp., which runs the facility in Westchester County, said Tuesday that more than 2,000 bolts had been inspected when the Indian Point 2 reactor was shut down. Company officials said more than 200 of the bolts needed further analysis and that some of the bolts on the reactor's inner liner were missing.

Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi told WCBS 880 that hundreds of inspections have been performed and the plant is safe.

"Overwhelmingly, the rest of the plant, the critical components are operating as expected," Nappi said. "We do these to demonstrate Indian Point's safety before we put it back in service, so people should be reassured."

The reactor with the faulty bolts has been shut down for several weeks and will remain shut down following the discovery of the faulty bolts, WCBS 880's Alex Silverman reported.

"While there is no immediate danger to public health and safety, this troubling news further validates the State's ongoing investigation into the operations of this aging power plant and our position that it should not be relicensed," Cuomo said in a statement. "New York State will continue to investigate every facet of the plant's operations and safety preparedness while ensuring that these critical defects are addressed immediately."

"Safety is always our first priority, and the hundreds of inspections performed over the last few weeks demonstrate these programs work as designed," said Larry Coyle, site vice president and Entergy's top official at Indian Point. "Safeguards and automatic detection equipment are in place to alert plant operators of impacts on safe operations."

Hudson Riverkeeper Paul Gallay believes the plant should be shut down.

"When the bolts holding the walls of the core of the Reactor 2 are breaking off because of the number of years they've been under radiation, you can't say this is anything other than a fundamental flaw that should keep this plant from operating," Gallay said.

Last month, Cuomo called for an investigation after an apparent overflow at the plant spilled highly radioactive water into an underground monitoring well. Nuclear regulators said the public wasn't at risk.

In December, a reactor shut down at the plant following an electrical disturbance on outdoor high voltage transmission lines.

In a report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last month, the company said that automatic reactor shutdown on Dec. 14 was apparently from bird feces that caused an electric arc between wires on a feeder line at a transmission tower.

That outage in turn came just days after control rods lost power at the Indian Point 2 reactor, forcing it to shut down for three days. Following that incident, opponents of the plant said Indian Point should close for good, pointing to a handful of other mishaps last year, including a transformer fire and water pump problem.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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