“BUCHANAN – Indian Point 3 experienced some difficulties with its Hudson River water-intake system this morning that forced plant operators to declare “an unusual event” and send divers into the icy waters to clear screens that keep debris from being drawn in with water used to cool pumps and other machinery.

The plant was not shut down, according to Indian Point spokesman Jim Steets.

Just before 6 a.m., the water in Indian Point 3’s service bay area reached levels low enough – nearly five feet below sea level – to set off a warning.

Millions of gallons of water from the Hudson River are sucked into the nuclear plants’ cooling system under a permit with New York state and screens are used to keep the inflows clear of debris.

Steets said it appeared that icy conditions had blocked screens that the water comes in through, in effect shutting off the spigot of cooling water coming into the service bay. The low river tide also likely contributed to the problem, he said.

“The water levels are already rising back,” Steets said about 9 a.m.”

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