Indian Point to be under watchful eye of NRC in 2008

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has announced it will continue to keep a close watch on developments at the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in 2008.

The NRC plans to continue conducting additional inspections at the plant next year. The oversight comes on the heels of a string of problems over the past 12 months, such as a transformer explosion, non-working emergency sirens and a sleeping guard. This is the second time the NRC has extended its enhanced oversight of Indian Point. As in the past, the agency is looking for resolutions involving two major issues surrounding the plant.

One issue has to do with the new emergency siren system, which was supposed to be in place last January. Three deadlines for the new sirens to be on line have been missed. The other issue is groundwater contamination under the plant. The radioactive elements tritium and strontium-90 have been found. While corrective action has been taken, the contamination remains.

Entergy spokesperson Robyn Bentley says the company welcomes the additional attention from the NRC. ?We appreciate that they acknowledge that Entergy continues to operate these plants safely and we welcome their continued inspections,? Bentley says.

Meanwhile, Entergy has announced it will begin transferring spent fuel from the decommissioned Unit One at Indian Point this weekend. The spent fuel pool at Unit One is thought to be the main source of the groundwater contamination under the plants.

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