A special inspection of the Indian Point 2 nuclear reactor found that more than a quarter of the stainless steel bolts needed to channel cooling water through active nuclear fuel rods were broken, distorted or "missing," a finding that calls into question the effectiveness of the long term management of this and other ageing power plants.
The nuclear power industry should be enjoying a boom, reveling in its extraordinary safety record and the fact that it is a carbon-free way to make electricity. But all is not well in atom land. In fact, things are dismal. Only five nuclear plants are under construction, and they are having birth pains as schedules slip and costs rise.
A very large gas pipeline will soon skirt the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC), an aging nuclear power plant that stands in the town of Cortlandt in Westchester County, New York, 30 miles north of Manhattan. Experts say a disaster as great as or greater than Fukushima could be triggered by a potential gas explosion at the nuclear complex.
New York State is prepared to close 40 years of intermittent and costly legal wrangling over the annual destruction of billions of fish by the twin Indian Point nuclear power plants in the productive Hudson River estuary if the plant agrees to shut down during peak spawning and hatching seasons for the river's major fish populations.