NRC Oversight Activities - 2005

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Date Description

The ongoing NRC Special Inspection at the Indian Point Energy Center, originally projected to end in late 2005, will extend into early 2006. Upon completion of the inspection, NRC will hold a public meeting to describe the activities, observations and findings.


Unit 2 Spent Fuel Pool: Entergy has completed visual examination and video taping of about 50% of the spent fuel pool liner surface in an effort to identify locations of potential leakage. This represents all the surfaces that can be accessed with the currently available video camera equipment. Stored spent fuel in portions of the pool prevent full examination with currently available video equipment. Accordingly, Entergy has informed the NRC that it is investigating the use of other video equipment to affect more complete examination of the pool liner. Divers physically examined three locations of interest with a vacuum box to determine if leakage was present, however, in each case, leakage was not positively detected. Notwithstanding, Entergy is examining methods to apply an underwater coating to these locations to assure these areas of interest remain leak-tight.

11/04/2005 Entergy initiated underwater camera inspection of portions of the Unit 2 spent fuel pool on 10/27/05. Three areas appearing as potential flaws in the liner were identified in the southwest corner of the pool. Diver operations are expected to commence the week of November 7, 2005, to more closely examine these areas to determine the presence of any leaks. New monitoring well installation remains on schedule. Installation of the first of nine wells is expected to be initiated the week of November 7, 2005.
10/24/2005 Update on scheduled activities: Energy expects to start a visual inspection of the Indian Point Unit 2 Spent Fuel Pool, utilizing an underwater camera, on October 27, 2005. Further examination, including the use of divers, is planned pending the results of this visual inspection. Energy is also making preparations for installing at least eight additional wells in locations that are expected to provide information that will be useful for the characterization of the ground water in the vicinity, and the extent of tritium contamination on-site. Installation of the first well is expected to be initiated on November 7, 2005. NRC Special Inspection activities are continuing.

Five additional existing shallow wells, located in the vicinity of the Indian Point 3 Turbine Building were recently sampled for radioactivity. The only radionuclide identified was tritium (H-3) in the following concentrations:

  • T-1 (inside Turbine Building, NE corner) 1.6 E-6 uCi/ml (1600 pCi/L);
  • T-2 (inside Turbine Building, SW corner) 7.7 E-7 uCi/ml (770 pCi/L;
  • U-3-1 (outside Turbine Building, NW corner) 4 E-7 uCi/m (400 pCi/L);
  • U-3-2 (outside Turbine Building, NW corner) 9.6 E-7 uCi/ml (960 pCi/L);
  • U-3-3 (outside Turbine Building, NW corner) 4.4 E-7 uCi/ml (440 pCi/L).

For perspective, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency regulation, 40 CFR 141 limits tritium concentration in drinking water to 20,000 pCi/L (or 2 E-5 uCi/ml). The highest sample (T-1) contained a tritium concentration that was less than 10% of the tritium concentration permitted by EPA standards for drinking water.

10/05/2005 Entergy notified the NRC that tritium activity (2.11 E-4 microcurie/milliliter, i.e. uCi/ml) was identified in a monitoring well that was previously established in 2000 for the monitoring for existing contaminants [e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), oil, and radioactive materials] in support of the transfer of the property from Consolidate Edison to Entergy, i.e., "due diligence." The well (MW-111) is located within the Protected Area in the vicinity of the Indian Point 2 transformer yard, an area that is relatively close (within about 150 yards) of both the Unit 1 and Unit 2 spent fuel pools. Entergy indicated that no radioactivity was identified when the well was sampled in 2000. Since that time, no other sampling of this well occurred until October 2005. No radioactive material was identified in three other monitoring wells for which sample results were available.
09/29/2005 While Entergy's analyses continues to indicate that the seepage has the characteristics of both current and aged spent fuel pool water, the licensee intends to treat the condition as a active leak of spent fuel pool water.
09/22/2005 NRC conducted an entrance meeting on-site with Entergy officials to explain the scope of the Special Inspection. The meeting was attended by representatives of the New York Public Service Commission, and New York State Emergency Management Agency, who were on-site to meet with Entergy officials relative to the spent fuel pool issue.
09/20/2005 The NRC issued a press release informing the public of a small amount of leakage from the Indian Point 2 spent fuel pool area. A special inspection of the facility was initiated. The NRC special inspection team will monitor the licensee's remedial actions and will assess any potential environmental impact of the leakage.