“Yesterday I learned that radioactive tritium-contaminated water leaked into the groundwater at the Indian Point Nuclear facility. The company reported alarming levels of radioactivity at three monitoring wells, with one well’s radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000 percent. The facility reports that the contamination has not migrated off site and as such does not pose an immediate threat to public health.
"Our first concern is for the health and safety of the residents close to the facility and ensuring the groundwater leak does not pose a threat.
“This latest failure at Indian Point is unacceptable and I have directed Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos and Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to fully investigate this incident and employ all available measures, including working with Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to determine the extent of the release, its likely duration, cause and potential impacts to the environment and public health.”
The Governor’s letter directing Acting Commissioner Seggos and Commissioner Zucker to their begin investigation can be viewed here. The text of that letter is also available below:
Dear Commissioners Zucker and Seggos:
I am deeply concerned to have learned that radioactive tritium-contaminated water has recently leaked from operations at the Entergy Indian Point Energy Center (Indian Point) into groundwater at the site. This is not the first such release of radioactive water at Indian Point, nor is this the first time that Indian Point has experienced significant failure in its operation and maintenance. This failure continues to demonstrate that Indian Point cannot continue to operate in a manner that is protective of public health and the environment.
The levels of radioactivity reported this week are significantly higher than in past incidents. Three of forty monitoring wells registered alarming increases. In fact, one of the monitoring well increased nearly 65,000 percent from 12,300 picocuries per liter to over 8,000,000 picocuries per liter.
Our first concern is for the health and safety of the residents close to the facility and ensuring the groundwater leak does not pose a threat. As such, I am directing you to fully investigate this incident and employ all available measures, including working with Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to determine the extent of the release, its likely duration, its causes, its potential impacts to the environment and public health, and how the release can be contained. We need to identify whether this incident could have been avoided by exercising reasonable care. We also need to know how a recurrence of this episode can be avoided by specific steps that Entergy should be taking.
Please report back at the completion of the investigation.