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Indian Point Plant Owner To Determine 'Precise' Cause Of Latest Unit Shutdown

BUCHANAN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- An electrical disturbance prompted the shut down of a generator and reactor at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester County.

The Indian Point 3 reactor was automatically shut down at about 7 p.m. Monday.

The disturbance was related to a high-voltage transmission line leading from the plant, and engineers are working to determine the "precise" cause, plant owner Entergy said.

"If the plant senses there is an electrical issue it shuts down automatically and safely," Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi told WCBS 880's Paul Murnane.

No radioactivity was released into the environment and there is no threat to the safety of workers and the public, Entergy said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls it another unexplained incident and has ordered the state Department of Public Service to investigate.

"Because of the number of recent unplanned outages, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's requirements will result in increased inspections and scrutiny of the plant," Cuomo said in a statement. "A thorough investigation of this shutdown is underway and we will make sure the safety of New Yorkers is not compromised."

This comes a little over a week 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 mishaps this year including a transformer fire and water pump problem.

Indian Point reactors 2 and 3 are up for relicensing.

Nappi said the plants are allowed to continue operations with $1 billion in recent improvements.

"About 70 of the nation's 99 nuclear plants have received license renewal for an additional 20 years based on the investments that have been made," Nappi said. "The Nuclear Regulatory Commission during our license review process has spent 37,000 person-hours on inspections and review of our application."

The two reactors supply about one-fourth of the power for New York City and Westchester County.

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