‘Uncontrollable radioactive flow’ from Indian Point continues to contaminate the Hudson River

by , 02/26/16
filed under: Energy,Manhattan,News,Water

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant

No matter where you live, “uncontrollable radioactive flow” is not a phrase that you want to hear in relation to your local water source. Unfortunately for some towns located on the Hudson River, the Huffington Post reports that radioactive elements from the Indian Point nuclear power plant are most likely seeping right into the waterway and potentially contaminating the drinking water systems of several towns located along the river route.



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According to the Huffington Post’s report, for more than a decade, the Indian Point plant has been unable to prevent its highly radioactive reactor and spent fuel pool coolant from leaking into groundwater routes that eventually lead into the Hudson River. Entergy, the operator of the plant, seems to zero in solely on tritium, a radioactive form of water and contaminant that leaks from the plant’s cooling system. The most recent leak, however, according to an assessment by the New York Department of State as part of its Coastal Zone Management Assessment, contains a variety of radioactive elements such as strontium-90, cesium-137, cobalt-60, and nickel-63 in addition to tritium.

Related: Underwater Robot to Investigate Radiation Leak at Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant

“Tritium,” explained David Lochbaum, nuclear safety expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists, “is just the first item reported. It tends to be the leading edge of any spill since it is the lightest and most mobile of the radioactive contaminants. The other isotopes slow down as they go through the soil. That other stuff is on its way, however. Tritium just wins the race.”

Radioactive leaks from Indian Point 2 are being investigated by federal and state officials and a radiation specialist has been dispatched to work with resident inspectors to investigate the cause of the leak. Continuous monitoring by the NY State Department of Health has found a variety of radioactive isotopes around the Indian Point discharge site, approximately 69 feet above the Hudson River. At that location, there is no system installed at to remove the isotopes from the groundwater flow. Further complicating the issue, there are more than three miles of inaccessible piping under the plant that cannot be checked for corrosion.

Although the Indian Point investigation is ongoing, a statement from Entergy insists that the issue is under control: “While elevated tritium in the ground onsite is not in accordance with our standards, there is no health or safety consequence to the public, and releases are more than a thousand times below federal permissible limits. The tritium did not affect any source of drinking water onsite or offsite.”

Via Huffington Post

Images via Tony Fischer and Doc Searls

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6 Comments

  1. RemyC March 4, 2016 at 8:08 am
    IP is NOT a crucial source of power for New York. Stop buying into the Entergy PR bullshit! Get your facts straight!!!
  2. asteroid miner March 3, 2016 at 11:50 pm
    WHERE DID NATURAL BACKGROUND RADIATION COME FROM? The visible universe [ignoring dark matter and dark energy] started out with only 3 elements: hydrogen, helium and lithium. All other elements were made in stars or by supernova explosions. Our star is a seventh generation star. The previous 6 generations were necessary for the elements heavier than lithium to be built up. Since heavier elements were built by radiation processes, they were very radioactive when first made. Our planet was made of the debris of a supernova explosion that happened about 5 billion years ago. The Earth has been decreasing in radioactivity ever since. All elements heavier than nickel were necessarily made by accretion of mostly neutrons but sometimes protons onto lighter nuclei. The original nickel was radioactive and decayed to cobalt, then iron. Radioactive decays were necessary to bring these new nuclei into the realm of nuclear stability. That is why all rocks are still radioactive. The supernova made all radioactive elements including plutonium, cesium 137, etcetera. Radiation also comes from outer space in the form of cosmic rays. Cosmic rays come from supernovas that are very far away. There will always be cosmic rays. Again: 4 Billion years ago, the Earth was a lot more radioactive than it is today. There is no place in or on Earth or in space where there is no radiation. There never was. So what is the natural background radiation in New York City? Remember that NYNY is built on granite, a naturally radioactive rock.
  3. Greg Burton March 2, 2016 at 11:06 am
    Always remember what Sibel Edmonds said...“They have individuals on their payroll on almost every nuclear facility in the United States” http://enenews.com/fbi-whistleblower-releases-unauthorized-memoir-they-have-individuals-on-their-payroll-on-almost-every-nuclear-facility-in-the-united-states-video
  4. haroldcallahan February 26, 2016 at 8:09 pm
    There is no safe level of radiation? Really? Do you know basic science? Are you aware that every spot in the universe is exposed to a non-negligible dose of background radiation from cosmic rays?
  5. roughdesigns February 26, 2016 at 5:54 pm
    If this was a problem, as big as say, human wastes and PCB's in the Hudson it would be just as obvious. Radiation is simple to detect. So, until some boater or hiker with a giger counter finds something, lets worry about the worlds record "Tritium" leak from Brookhaven National Labs spent reactor fuel holding pond, and the ponds at all 100 US Nuke plants. Wastes are stacking up as the US gov't won't make the hard choices needed to create a waste depository. No one likes this, or the waste transport, yet the alternative is leaking radioactive pools all over the country for 50,000 yrs (even if all nukes shut down now). I posted on just this, just Google " Stealth Taxes Supporting Nuclear Power "
  6. zakredridge February 25, 2016 at 1:56 pm
    Entergy representatives should be made to drink tritium water at press conferences. I don't think they would drink even if the levels were low! They know the damage internal radiation causes, there is no safe level of radiation, and each dose is cumulative . Shut em down before Fukushima 2 happens!