In a groundwater leak at the Indian Point nuclear power plant, three monitoring wells were discovered to contain “alarming levels of radioactivity”
The Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo has ordered an immediate environmental probe into the issue.
Health and environment commissioners were ordered to begin an investigation into the leak of “radioactive tritium-contaminated water” at the Indian Point nuclear power plant after the operator, Entergy Nuclear Operations, raised the alarm.
In a statement, Cuomo said one of the wells reported a 65,000% spike in radioactivity.
The governor has previously asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to shut down the plant because of doubts over the safe evacuation of the area in the event of an accident.
RT reports: The cause of the contamination is unknown. The contamination has reportedly not spread off-site and does not pose an immediate threat to public health, according to the operator. Yet Cuomo noted that his first concern is for the “health and safety of the residents close to the facility.”
The Governor also stressed that authorities must ensure that the “groundwater leak does not pose a threat,” calling the “latest failure” at Indian Point “unacceptable.”
He tasked Department of Environmental Conservation’s acting commissioner, Basil Seggos, and the Health Department commissioner, Howard Zucker to “employ all available measures, including working with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to determine the extent of the release, its likely duration, cause and potential impacts to the environment and public health.”
The Indian Point nuclear power plant, 25 miles north of New York City, is located in Buchanan and sits on the east bank of the Hudson River. It supplies about 30 percent of the energy to New York City. The site includes two operating Westinghouse pressurized water reactors – Indian Point 2 and Indian Point 3. The plant also has the permanently shut-down Indian Point 1 unit reactor.
In May last year the plant’s operator had to shut down one of the reactors after an explosion rocked the nuclear facility