FitzPatrick nuclear power station

Published 7 November 2007

Upstate New York nuclear power plant shut down for the third time in two months owing to wind blowing debris into the plant’s water intake

Entergy Corp’s 852-megawatt FitzPatrick nuclear power station in New York was shut early Tuesday, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said in a report. On Monday the unit was operating at 55 percent power. The unit had been ramping up after exiting an outage last week. The company shut the unit on 28 October as high winds blew a significant amount of debris into the plant’s water intake. That was the third shutdown for the plant in two months due to debris in the intake. A spokeswoman for the plant said the company was working to solve this problem. FitzPatrick, as is the case with other power plants, uses water for cooling and other purposes. FitzPatrick’s water comes from Lake Ontario. The station, which entered service in 1976, is located on Lake Ontario in Scriba in Oswego County, about ninety miles east of Rochester, New York. One MW powers about 800 homes in New York.

Entergy in August 2006 filed for a twenty-year extension of the unit’s original forty-year operating license. It usually takes the NRC about twenty-two months to make a decision on a license renewal without a hearing (so a decision would be made by May 2008) and about thirty months with a hearing, pushing the decision to January 2009. Entergy, of New Orleans, owns and operates about 30,000 MW of generating capacity, markets energy commodities, and transmits and distributes power to 2.6 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.