A transformer failed at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in suburban New York City, causing a fire that forced an automatic shutdown of a reactor. The fire was quickly extinguished and the reactor was deemed safe and stable, said a rep for Entergy Corp. The transformer at Indian Point 3 takes energy created by the plant and changes the voltage for the grid supplying power to the state. The blaze, which sent black smoke billowing into the sky yesterday, was extinguished by a sprinkler system and on-site personnel, the Entergy rep said. Westchester County police and fire were on site as a precaution. It was not immediately clear what caused the failure, or whether the transformer would be repaired or replaced.
Entergy said there were no health or safety risks. It's unclear how long the 1,000-megawatt reactor will be down. The plant's adjacent Unit 2 reactor was not affected. The Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, 35 miles up the Hudson River from midtown Manhattan, supplies electricity for millions in New York City and Westchester County. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the fire caused oil to leak and could possibly spill into the Hudson River, but crews were working to contain it. "These situations we take very seriously. Luckily this was not a major situation," he said. But he said there had been too many emergencies of late. Unit 3 had been shut down Thursday for an unrelated issue, a water leak on the non-nuclear side of the plant. In March, Unit 3 was shut down for a planned refueling that took about a month. (Read more Indian Point stories.)