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Report: Indian Point Power Plant Operating Safely, Despite Recent Shutdowns

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A new report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled the Indian Point nuclear power plant is operating safely, despite a number of incidents over the past year that caused the plant to shut down.

Both critics and supporters packed a public meeting on the yearly report on Wednesday night to express their thoughts on the future of the aging power plant, WCBS 880's Sean Adams reported.

Indian Point critics say it's just too risky to have an aging nuclear power plant still running in a relatively populous region. Supporters say Indian Point produces safe, clean, affordable energy and provides jobs and tax revenue. 

Many residents also blasted the federal regulators for approving a natural gas pipeline that is planned to pass right by Indian Point, which critics fear could cause potential danger due to the pipeline's proposed proximity to the aging power plant.

The ambitious natural gas pipeline project goes under the Hudson River all the way to Lambertville, New Jersey on one end. At the other end, it runs all the way to the Atlantic Coast in Massachusetts.

In March, hundreds of faulty bolts were discovered at the Indian Point power plant, causing the facility to shut down. Entergy Corp., which runs the facility in Westchester County, said more than 2,000 bolts had been inspected when the Indian Point 2 reactor was shut down and that some of the bolts on the reactor's inner liner were missing at the time of the discovery.

In February, 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.

Entergy is currently seeking a 20-year license to continue plant operations.


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