With the worst of Hurricane Sandy now passing the eastern seaboard, Entergy's Indian Point Energy Center and James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in New York, Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Massachusetts and Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Vermont have all safely endured the storm. Did the grid hold? Are there lessons for facility managers and building owners here as well?
Indian Point 2, FitzPatrick and Pilgrim remained at full power while Vermont Yankee reduced power to 88% at the request of ISO New England to help maintain grid stability. Indian Point 3 automatically shut down at 10:41 p.m. Monday as a result of an electrical grid disturbance.
"Nuclear plants are built to exceed the most severe natural forces historically reported for their geographic area," says John Herron, president and CEO of Entergy Nuclear. "And we saw evidence of that again with Hurricane Sandy."
Entergy Nuclear plants began preparations for the storm last week, coordinating activities with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, independent system operators and various state and local government officials.
Critical staff remained dedicated at each site, ready to respond to potential weather impacts.
In addition to the nuclear plant staff sequestered at Indian Point, FitzPatrick, Pilgrim and Vermont Yankee, the company's utilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas sent more than 850 highly-experienced restoration workers and support personnel to the region impacted by the hurricane.
They include scouts, who assess damage when safe to do so after the storm, and tool workers who will help rebuild the electrical system. Entergy will also provide some customer service representatives to remotely answer customer calls from affected areas.