The research division of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Washington, criticized its own reactor oversight division as well as utility Consolidated Edison of New York (Con Ed) for faulty analyses that allowed Indian Point-2 to run until a steam generator tube ruptured. The rupture was contained and did not produce an off-site radioactive threat.
NRC's criticisms were made public in an exclusive story by "Inside N.R.C.," an industry newsletter published by McGraw-Hill Energy Information Group, Washington. Managing Editor David Stellfox discovered that Indian Point-2 was allowed to operate for an extended period of time without stopping to check the integrity of the thin-walled heat transfer tubes in the steam generators. The tubes had started to indicate cracks during the most recent examination in 1997. However, NRC regulators gave Con Ed a waiver, allowing it to continue running the plant for 10 months rather than stopping during the summer of 1999 for safety checks.