On November 8th, the New York Times reported the NRC’s statement, “A transformer exploded on Sunday evening at the Indian Point 2 nuclear plant in northern Westchester County, N.Y., causing a fire and an automatic shutdown of the reactor.”
The plant is 36 years old. Three years ago, a transformer fire occurred at Indian Point 3, just next door. These plants have reached old age. The NRC’s report identified the cause of the 2007 incident as unnoticed deterioration of parts.
Its sister reactor to the north, Vermont Yankee, is 38 years old and two years away from its expiration date. And that very same night, someone noticed that it was leaking again… leaking radioactive water intended to cool the reactor.
You see, Vermont Yankee went through her transformer fire phase a little earlier, back in 2004.
So, if we are to gain some insight from recent history, we can expect leaking underground pipes just upstream from New York City within the next couple of years.
So, do you think the good people at Entergy are preparing for the likelihood of this event? Probably not, because they’re focusing their efforts elsewhere right now. Specifically, they’re busy scrambling to find a sucker, i mean a buyer, for the Vermont Yankee plant.
There are no plans in the works as far as I know to adequately upgrade these aging plants as they reach retirement age. What seems apparent is that corporations like Entergy are too busy trying to squeeze out the last drops of financial return on their investments to adequately focus on the increasing risks that these plants pose.
And, seriously, if you told me you were thinking about buying a leaking old nuke plant two years before it is scheduled to be decommissioned, I’d think you were either really stupid, really dangerous, or both.
It is time to shut the old plants down and get the best and brightest working on a sustainable source for our future energy needs. Do you doubt we can do this? This is America, right?